Qld govt slams footy tickets backflip

·2-min read

Queensland's health minister has called out the Therapeutic Goods Adminsitration's backflip on awarding finals tickets to NRL fans getting vaccinated before this weekend as "bureaucracy gone mad".

Yvette D'Ath took aim at the TGA and questioned why the Queensland government was being targeted for their incentives.

"I understand the NRL has suspended these tickets based on TGA advice that they can only be offered to people who are fully vaccinated," she told reporters on Thursday.

"Can I say this is bureaucracy gone mad. Are we supposed to be vaccinating people in this country, or not against COVID?

"What we need is people coming out to get their first vaccine. That's what we're trying to do here. We raffled off signed jerseys in Rockhampton before the NRL game.

"There's other community groups that have been offering NRL tickets, all week. But when the Queensland government partners with the NRL suddenly it's a problem."

The health minister said she would write to the TGA, while Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young has also asked the agency to reconsider.

The NRL will still offer finals tickets to those who are receiving their second dose, of which there have been 3000 advertised in partnership with the state government.

Earlier on Thursday, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said people who got vaccinated from Thursday at vaccination centres in Boondall and Pinkenba or in Logan and Mt Warren Park could win tickets to the games.

"I want to see as many Queenslanders as possible getting vaccinated," she said in a statement.

"As an added incentive, the first few thousand at select vaccination hubs on Thursday and Friday will also get free tickets to the NRL finals."

Anyone who receives their second jab at the Boondall or new Pinkenba mass vaccination centre will be in the running to win one of 2000 double-passes to Friday night's match between Manly and South Sydney.

The same applies at the Logan Entertainment Centre and Mt Warren Park vaccine hub, where people receiving their second dose could win one of 1000 double passes to Saturday's preliminary final between Melbourne and Penrith.

The premier said the NRL had been giving "thank you" incentives to fans for years, and if the Therapeutic Goods Administration had any issues it should take it up with the NRL.

"This is the NRL just saying thank you to Queenslanders, the thank-you is going to defence personnel, people who are working in our hospitals, and they've been running a campaign to get people vaccinated," she said.

"In the national plan - it actually says very clearly - encouraging uptake through incentives and other measures, that's in the national plan."

Ms D'Ath said the government would also operate a pop-up vaccination clinic at Suncorp Stadium for both the finals and the grand final on October 3.

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