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Queensland Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk. Picture: Adam Head

Aged care nurse slammed by QLD premier files human rights complaint

A Queensland aged care nurse who worked at an aged care facility while infected with COVID-19 has lodged a complaint against the state’s government officials.

Back in May, the nurse was called out by the Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk for continuing to show up to work while symptomatic and awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.

“Honestly, a nurse should know better,” the premier said at the time.

“Everyone has a personal responsibility here to make sure that if they are sick, they are not turning up to work.”

A Queensland health investigation later cleared the nurse of any wrongdoing.

The nurse has now lodged a complaint with the Queensland Human Rights Commission, claiming her reputation was smeared by officials.

The complaint, lodged by the Nurses Professional Association of Queensland (NPAQ), has been filed against Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Health Minister Steven Miles, Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young and Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga – per the ABC.

“We argue that the defence of public health necessity will not apply as she followed workplace directions and it was not reasonably necessary for senior government leaders to make sustained character assassinations for over a week,” NPAQ secretary Aenghas Hopkinson-Pearson said. 

“We sat with the nurse in Rockhampton watching the TV as Steven Miles said she had lied to contact tracers while at the same time we were reading glowing correspondence from police and investigators over her co-operation and honesty.”

The union claims the ordeal has taken a mental toll on the nurse, who they say was repeatedly vilified and shamed by the government – all in breach of her human rights.

Lauga has stood by her comments while Steven Miles has said that the action is a union ploy to get more members.

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