Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is under pressure to launch legal action to stop a planned mass protest in the heart of Brisbane on Saturday.
At least 3000 people have shown their support on social media to take part in a rally on the Story Bridge, protesting against the treatment of asylum seekers held in a Kangaroo Point hotel.
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Ms Palaszczuk on Thursday left her options open on whether to have the courts rule the protest as illegal, as the NSW Government has done against Black Lives Matter rallies in Sydney.
She said discussions were underway with police to consider what action to take to avoid blocking one of Brisbane’s main road arteries.
“Now is not the time to have mass protests,” the premier told a media conference on the Gold Coast where she announced a business case for stage 4 of the Gold Coast light rail to the Gold Coast airport and Coolangatta.
She said the rally had the potential to take Queensland backwards in its effort to control the spread of coronavirus.
“All options are being looked at.”
Opposition leader Deb Frecklington said Ms Palaszczuk had a responsibility to keep Queenslanders safe by preventing the rally.
Allowing the protest to go ahead on Saturday would be reckless and irresponsible, the LNP leader said.
“People have a right to protest – but not like this and not in the middle of a pandemic,” Ms Frecklington said.
“Allowing the mass protest to take place on the same day Annastacia Palaszczuk is shutting the border would be completely hypocritical.
“Every legal option possible must be exhausted because we can’t risk a second wave of coronavirus in Queensland.
“The NSW government took legal action recently to successfully stop a protest in Sydney and Annastacia Palaszczuk should look at all legal options available to do the same here in Queensland.”