Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan responded to backlash over his visit to Cooktown last week.
Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan responded to backlash over his visit to Cooktown last week.

Costigan responds to investigation into COVID-19 travel

Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan has responded to a police investigation launched into his visit to Far North Queensland last week, calling it an "orchestrated attempt of political assassination".

Mr Costigan travelled to Cooktown, which has been in lockdown since March 27, to announce the appointment of his party's Cook candidate Desmond Tayley.

Cooktown residents voiced their concern over his visit and questioned why he had travelled to the area during coronavirus restrictions.

A Queensland Police Service spokeswoman yesterday confirmed an investigation had been launched into Mr Costigan's travel.

Jason Costigan with Desmond Tayley. Picture: SUPPLIED
Jason Costigan with Desmond Tayley. Picture: SUPPLIED

However, Mr Costigan stood by his travel decision, saying he sought police advice and was granted permission to enter the area.

"I've not had a phone call from the police, and I don't expect to receive a call from the police," he said.

"I was allowed in because of the nature of my work, following advice from the QPS.

"We had the necessary paperwork, which we had organised two days before entry, hence there was no issue with the QPS going in and no issue with the QPS going out and furthermore, no issue with the QPS in Cooktown."

Mr Costigan also called out Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch who told the Cairns Post he had made a formal complaint against the Member for Whitsunday.

"This latest crap suggests it's all about revenge," Mr Costigan said.

"Mr Entsch is just dirty about the fact I have recruited Mr Tayley to be in Cook for NQ First after the former mayor of Wujal Wujal knocked back an approach from the Liberals and Mr Entsch.

"He would have blown a gasket."

Mr Costigan submitted a question on notice to parliament asking if the Premier would lift lockdown restrictions for Cape  York communities amid growing concerns over mental health and economic losses.

He said, if anything, Mr Entsch should be "thankful" that he had bought issues within the electorate before parliament.

"I've done Warren Entsch's job, he should be giving me chocolate and flowers," he said.

"These people, both indigenous and non-indigenous, are being cooped up.

"It would be like people in Airlie (being) cut off from the rest of the world at Brandy Creek. No travel to Proserpine, Bowen, the airport, doctors, whatever. No access in and out by sea.

"It is bordering on oppression. My visit has clearly shone a light on this dangerous situation, with increasing reports of mental health issues, alcoholism, domestic violence and more, something that has been made clear to me by people on the ground whom I trust and believe.

"If anything, Warren Entsch should be thankful, but he's decided to play politics."