Blackwater locals don’t deserve an apology
THE people of Blackwater don't deserve an apology from the State Government over the death of Nathan Turner, a 30-year-old falsely held up as the youngest Australian to die from coronavirus.
I get that locals are annoyed they took the time to be tested (that's 605 in a population of around 4700) and businesses have suffered, including the bakery where Mr Turner's fiancee Simone Devon worked.
And I get that, in hindsight following Monday night's revelation Mr Turner did not in fact have COVID-19 when he died on May 27, a Central Queensland community has been in turmoil.
But what would Blackwater have preferred when one of their own initially tested positive for the virus?
Inaction? A wait-and-see response?
Imagine the furore if people had become infected only to discover the Government knew all along but chose to say nothing.
I don't agree with some of the decisions the Palaszczuk administration has made during this crisis - including the belligerent closure of borders, patron limits in restaurants and pubs, and the prolonged shuttering of schools - but when there was a positive result for coronavirus it responded appropriately.
LNP Member for Gregory Lachlan Millar is fuming because he says this is the second time the Blackwater community has been "put through hell" over a false positive, referring to a laboratory error in April revealing a mining company worker had COVID-19.
If the competency of testing is in question, this must be addressed immediately.
But false positives, while rare, are not impossible, as Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young has said, and let's not forget this is a virus we are yet to fully understand.
The people who deserve an apology - Mr Turner's family and fiancee - have received one, albeit it several hours too many after learning their loved one did not have COVID-19.
For them, the unwanted national spotlight at a time of immense grief must be unbearable.
But to suggest, as a petition signed by locals has done, that the Government deliberately lied about the cause of Mr Turner's death, is going too far.
Time may prove me wrong, but when the Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt passes up an opportunity to bash a Labor government and says the Premier and her advisers did everything they could, that's a pretty good indication a conspiracy theory doesn't hold.
Originally published as Blackwater locals don't deserve an apology