Qld premier defends Tokyo Olympics trip

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Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says her scheduled Tokyo Olympics trip will not go ahead if Brisbane enters a COVID-19 lockdown.

But the premier has made it clear that at this stage, she will still attend in the hopes of securing the 2032 Olympic Games bid for Brisbane.

Queensland recorded three new locally acquired coronavirus cases on Thursday, on the eve of the government’s plans to reduce restriction across the state.

A mask mandate will remain across 11 local government areas in the state’s southeast for another week, with restrictions easing is areas such as Townsville and Palm Island.

The premier’s trip to Tokyo hinges on testing results and whether Thursday’s cases will bring about more infections in the coming days, but Ms Palaszczuk remains confident.

“If we were in a situation like New South Wales, I will not be going, but I am going at this stage,” the premier told reporters on Thursday.

“Let me also make it clear that I am essentially flying in, doing the requirements of quarantine in Tokyo, I am presenting in Tokyo with the Lord Mayor, and also the federal minister, then we have meetings in that same hotel.

“I am not attending any events, whatsoever. I then fly back into Brisbane and I do 14 days hotel quarantine.

“And within a week we will know whether Queensland is going to secure the 2032 Olympics, and that’s exciting for everyone in this state.”

The premier’s firm stance comes as a petition to deny her travel to Tokyo reached more thanr 29,000 signatures earlier this month.

The change.org petition advocated to deny the premier her formal travel in lieu of stranded Australian’s overseas still unable to return home.

Earlier in July, Ms Palaszczuk said she understood the views put forward in the petition, but called the 2032 Olympics “the biggest opportunity that Queensland’s ever seen”.

Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates also made it clear that it would be a “disaster if the head of Queensland did not go”.

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