State Premiers have rushed to support New South Wales in a show of national unity as authorities battle to control a coronavirus outbreak in the lead-up to Christmas.
Victoria’s Daniel Andrews was the first to pledge help, announcing he would share technology used in his State to assist contact tracers.
He said several packets of crayons and a box of scrap paper would be rushed to Sydney where they could be used by authorities to track people who may have been exposed to the virus.
He added his government’s fax machine would also be made available for use in NSW as soon as they found a long enough extension cord.
“This technology was a big reason for what happened here in Victoria,” he said.
Victoria endured four months of harsh lockdown earlier this year after the virus escaped from hotel quarantine, infecting thousands of people and killing more than 800.
Mr Andrews said he had also offered to share a diversity checklist created by his government to guide decisions about who could best protect the public from the deadly virus.
“I am happy to loan the diversity checklist to our NSW counterparts so that they can ensure members of minority groups take key roles – regardless of experience or ability – during this health emergency,” he said.
“All we ask is that the diversity checklist is returned promptly since in Victoria we are unable to make any public service appointments without it.”
Mr Andrews also promised to make available to the NSW Premier a list of union contacts willing to run hotel quarantine for $30 million, a box of creeping assumptions for difficult decisions and a leather-bound thesaurus offering numerous ways to say “I can’t recall” in the event that the Berejiklian government’s handling of the pandemic led to a commission of inquiry.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk offered NSW the use of her chief health officer whom she insisted was “second to none when it comes to scaring the public”.
“Her hysterical claims that 10,000 people would die helped to distract public attention from other issues in the lead-up to our state election. Now I have been re-elected, I won’t be needing the chief health officer to make everyone scared of Covid-19 again until around budget time.
“Gladys, with some of her recent travails, needs the Queensland chief health officer’s exaggerated predictions of doom and death more than I do right now, and so I’m happy to make her available. It’s the right thing to do.”
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall apologised that he was unable to supply his NSW colleague with a promised Covid-19 panic button.
“It broke after I hit it too hard in November,” he lamented.
The newly declared Socialist Republic of Western Australian was the only region not to offer assistance, with Emperor Mark McGowan insisting he had never heard of any civilisation east of Eucla.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who created the National Cabinet to co-ordinate Australia’s response to Covid-19, told journalists, “I have never been more proud of Australians”.
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