The start of a medicinal cannabis trial for Queensland patients has been delayed and entangled in a bureaucratic quagmire as the Palaszczuk Labor Government announces that the Queensland will hold a separate trial from New South Wales, despite what was initially announced.
Shadow Health Minister Mark McArdle said Premier Palaszczuk and Health Minister Cameron Dick announced the trial 12 months ago but have done nothing since other than dither and drag their feet.
“This time last year Minister Dick said the government would ‘work on this very quickly and try to get it done as soon as possible’ but in the last 12 months nothing has changed,” Mr McArdle said.
“Cameron Dick and the Palaszczuk Labor Government are frozen at the wheel and its clear this policy has been in the deep freeze while the government struggles with internal battles.
“When first announcing the trial Premier Palaszczuk had told of the patients she had met who wanted the trial, saying ‘all she wants is a government that’s willing to step up’ – well on that count her government has failed.
“It’s now time for the Premier to step in and act where Minister Dick has failed by getting on with a medicinal cannabis trial as soon as possible.
“Queensland patients deserve a health minister and government that will look out for their interests, rather than flashy headlines with no plan for following through.”
Mr McArdle said he quizzed the health minister on Queensland’s cannabis trial at the 2015 estimates hearings where at best Minister Dick’s answers were vague and now we know why.