American entrepreneur and podcaster Tim Ferriss has observed that writing can sharpen your thinking. Putting things down on paper, you’re more likely to avoid sloppy thinking and illogical arguments, and you will have to think more carefully about your assumptions, judgments, and evidence. That is why, once upon a time, governments would make important decisions affecting millions of people based on written advice which could be reviewed and contested within government and often outside of government. Based on the news in today’s Courier-Mail about Queensland Health keeping CHO Jeannette Young’s 2020 interstate border closure advice secret, I suspect there was no considered and cogent written advice analysing the public health, economic, and social impacts of interstate border closures and outlining the grounds for her border closure recommendation.
Queensland Health’s excuse for not releasing the CHO’s advice is pathetic. The Courier-Mail reports:
Documents detailing the health advice used by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to keep the state’s borders closed have been kept secret by Queensland Health, which says it can’t access chief health officer Jeannette Young’s emails because they “keep corrupting”.
It appears that, despite the tens of millions (I’m guessing) spent each year on Queensland Health’s ICT system, Queensland Health should instead get its bureaucrats Google Workspace and Evernote or Notion subscriptions so they can keep proper records. The Queensland Audit Office should investigate whether the CHO’s office is complying with the Queensland Government’s recordkeeping policy, which notes:
Public authorities are responsible for making, managing, keeping and preserving complete and reliable public records.
Based on today’s Courier-Mail report, it does not appear to be fulfilling that responsibility.
Yes, COVID-19 is a serious disease and the CHO has a huge amount of responsibility. But her decisions are affecting millions and causing great financial and emotional hardship in many cases, and we should be demanding much more justification for her decisions than we have seen to date.
Please feel free to comment below. Alternatively, you can email comments, questions, suggestions, or hot tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The contemporary style border marker reflects the past and signals the future for two communities working together. Designed by artist, Rodney Spooner, the marker symbolises an inviting and unobstructed doorway between the two States, reaching a height of 8 metres makes reference to traditional survey marking techniques and to the prominent volcanic history of the region.
The initials of Francis Edward Roberts (FER) and Isaiah Rowlands (R) who conducted the original border survey in 1863 are etched authentically into the Marker. The doorway houses representative images of local history, which will be complemented by significant events yet to occur in this dynamic region.
Thanks Jerome! Good to know it’s not unimaginative after all.
Firstly I just want to say I am a big admirer of your blogsite, and read it all the time! You probably don’t even realise the good that you do, but believe me, it is heartening to know that independent journalists and writers like you still exist – stops the rest of us feeling like we are the only sane ones left!
Anyway, I would post the link to a new Petition that has been put up by Stephen Andrew’s (One Nation MP for Mirani) in response to the latest Bill before the House that will extend the Emergency Powers and Measures in Queensland into a third year. There are also transitionary regulations passed in the December extension of the Covid Bill, that will permit extensions for two years after that – so potentiallly to 30 April 2024.
Steve is petitioning to Restore Democracy in Queensland?
He has at least two Posts up about it if anyone wants to check them out. The latest one to do with the new QR sign in system, has well over 700 comments, so there is a lot of outrage out there over what is going on. The Petition has over 7k thousand signatures so far, which is pretty good for a Parliamentary Petition, but we really need to get it up over 20k to force a Debate on the Floor of Parliament. A Debate is long overdue on the impact all these emergency laws and measures are having on Queensland’s democratic heritage – and of course, it’s economy!
It probably won’t be enough to actually stop the Bill, but if enough people sign it, it will send a message to the Government and the MSM, that there are plenty of people out here who are not happy with what they are doing. Right now, none of those people have a voice, because all the MSM in Qld are in lockstep with the Government on everything!
If enough people sign, it might also make them think twice about rolling out any kind of vaccine passport system – that would be a disaster. Link to petition is below
Thanks heaps Trish. The link in your comment as I received it didn’t work so I’ve linked to the Parliamentary website via which the petition is available. I opposed the extension of the powers earlier this year so I’m certainly on board for opposing the latest iteration.
Thanks so much for that!! You are doing a great job – we just need more like you! If we did, a lot more people would sit up and see, that there is a lot going on right now in Queensland, and not all of it is about public health or safety. There are so many radical changes being made at the executive level and many of these changes are starting to have the distinct air of permanence about them. That’s why we have to convince parliament to ‘legislate’ stronger limits and safeguards so that somehow, our way of living and interacting, and our democracy will survive somehow. Here’s hoping anyway! Thanks again for the support! Trish