Petition to relax isolation rules has almost 500 signatures
LAST week Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a press conference it would be at least another four weeks until COVID-19 restrictions start to be revised.
For Rockhampton man Christian Shepherd this estimate seems unreasonable, and judging by the early engagement his petition on reopening the regions has been getting, he's not the only one.
Mr Shepherd posted his petition on Wednesday, April 15 and yesterday it had reached 487 signatures.
The petition addresses the Legislative Assembly of Queensland and lobbies for the relaxing of quarantine and isolation rules for regional areas outside SE Qld.
Mr Shepherd argues that the current approach taken by the government, in his words 'a blanket rule for the entire state', is not productive.
"Its one of the most unintuitive forms of governance," Mr Shepherd said yesterday.
"Our state is divided up into electorates for precisely this reason, because we have different geography, different demographics and varying industries."
For Mr Shepherd, there is a clear divide between the response to COVID-19 that is necessary here in regions like CQ and a response necessary in larger metro areas.
He argues that if the QLD government had an infection rate at which they would consider lowering restrictions, the majority of regional areas in SE Qld would be currently at or below it.
Being a large but less densely populated area, regions like Rockhampton have been largely untouched by COVID-19, particularly in comparison to their metro counterparts.
For Mr Shepherd, this is evidence that revisions need to be made on the restrictions that hurting regional economies.
"All the petition asks for is the relaxing of restrictions, I'm not asking for them to be lowered, just reassessed," he said.
"Even if it just meant restaurants, cafes and sporting clubs in small regional towns like Blackwater and Duaringa could reopen, so young and healthy people can get back to business."