’Ambulance chaser’: Bob Katter slammed over COVID-19 protest

FEDERAL MP Bob Katter has been accused of trying to stay relevant while leading Yarrabah residents on a protest of COVID-19 restrictions which he described as "outrageous overkill".

Dozens of demonstrators took to the street at the roadblock leading into the indigenous community from Cairns today calling for "freedom" amid mounting frustrations over the tough biosecurity measures brought in to protect vulnerable indigenous communities.

The Kennedy MP claimed Yarrabah residents were currently not able to leave to purchase essential items and took aim at the State Government.

"They can't get shoes, underwear or warm blankets. They can't renew their registration or fix their cars. So why are these people locked up?" he said.

"This is outrageous overkill. It is just another exercise in power not an effort to look after us."

But Cairns MP Michael Healy fired back, calling Mr Katter an "ambulance chaser" who was turning the pandemic into a political platform.

A roadblock on Pine Creek Yarrabah Road. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
A roadblock on Pine Creek Yarrabah Road. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

He said everyone had been forced to make sacrifices, revealing he was one of only four people at his father's funeral last week.

"I think if we all took (Mr Katter's) attitude our numbers would be through the roof," he said.

"The measures that the government has employed … the evidence is it's worked and it's continuing to work.

"It was always going to get a little hard for people as we got to the business end of this.

"But our priority has always been the preservation of life and the protection of people in vulnerable communities.

"If Bob Katter can't understand that I question is he really in the right job representing people."

Yarrabah remains in lockdown under the Biosecurity Act.
Yarrabah remains in lockdown under the Biosecurity Act.

All of the state's indigenous communities remain in lockdown under the Biosecurity Act with only essential workers allowed in and out without having to isolate for 14 days prior.

There were no reports of major incidents at the protest and police intervention was not required.