There’s been an angry backlash after a Queensland LNP member shared a contentious coronavirus cartoon online.
John-Paul Langbroek, the member for Surfers Paradise, shared a cartoon depicting Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young.
The pair are seen riding a dead horse with a placard on it which reads: “COVID-19 fear campaign”.
“Anna, I think this horse is dead!” Dr Young says to which the premier replies: “you’re the doctor, Jeanette, just keep it going till the election!”
A number of buildings in the background are boarded up and it appears to depict people committing suicide.
Mr Langbroek, who served as Minister for Education, Training and Employment under Campbell Newman’s LNP government, said he’d been speaking with “desperate locals” who were suffering due to the state’s borders remaining closed.
Sitting in my office in Surfers Paradise, talking 📱📞 to desperate locals. This is the overwhelming view from those who can’t visit their sick parents in hospital, can’t cross the border for work, have family members on antidepressants. ‘It’s the economy too, stupid’ #qldpol pic.twitter.com/qHGqPEvktg— John-Paul Langbroek (@JPLangbroek) September 5, 2020
“This is the overwhelming view from those who can’t visit their sick parents in hospital, can’t cross the border for work, have family members on antidepressants,” he tweeted on Saturday.
“‘It’s the economy too, stupid’.”
The cartoon, drawn by cartoonist Steve Hunter, was published ahead of the Queensland state election on October 31.
Racing Minister Stirling Hinchcliffe told news.com.au in a statement that Mr Langbroek has “stooped to a new low”.
“John-Paul Langbroek is a medical professional,” Mr Hinchliffe said. “It beggars belief he would undermine his own profession by endorsing ridiculous, unscientific, far-right conspiracy theories.”
People on social media were also quick to deride the MP for posting the cartoon.
“Imagine being in public life and posting such a dangerously stupid piece of propaganda,” one man tweeted.
One woman called the cartoon “disgraceful”.
The cartoon also raised a few eyebrows given Queensland LNP leader Deb Frecklington’s public support of the border closure, which remains very popular among the Queensland public. However, on June 11 she did call for the borders to be re-opened.
Health Minister Steven Miles on Sunday called for the leader of the opposition to remove Mr Langbroek from her front bench.
“This is in defiance of the claims by the LNP leader that she supports our strong border stance,” Mr Miles said.
“We can't pretend to support our strong border stands and have every other senior member of the LNP out there criticising us and attacking us. You can't have it both ways. It has to be one way or the other.
“So if John-Paul Langbroek disagrees with Deb Clinton, then Debra Clinton should have the guts to sack him from the front bench.”
Queensland reported two new cases of COVID on Sunday.
Mr Langbroek’s office has been contacted for comment.
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