After an important week back in Canberra, Federal Member for Wright, Scott Buchholz made the thirteen hour drive home, over two days. A drive that has replaced a journey usually taken by air in 90 minutes. It is just one example of the many changes in our lives – interstate travel does not take place as it once did.
As with all Australians, adapting and changing their behaviours in response to the Coronavirus, Mr Buchholz is adapting to the way in which he goes about his Parliamentary duties.
For many, like Mr Buchholz, that means working from home, undertaking essential travel using a different method or working with adjusted hours and rosters.
But for our frontline workers, such as our Police Officers, it is business as usual in a not so usual world.
On his journey home, Mr Buchholz said he encountered Police regularly and they were doing their best in the most challenging of circumstances.
“Unlike many workers, team Blue, the frontline in community safety, they don’t have the same flexibility or adaptability in their work places.
“Our Police still have to get into the squad car, do the road patrols, attend crime scenes, intervene in ugly situations, attend to horrible car crashes and undertake the many other policing activities.
“These are unfortunate events in most circumstances, that do not simply stop because of the pandemic. And therefore our Police do not stop either,”.
Mr Buchholz said the pandemic had shown the critical necessity of workers in a crisis, whether they be truck drivers, cleaners, doctors, nurses, someone stocking a shop shelf or, a Police Officer.
“We owe them all a great deal of gratitude. They’ve shone in this pandemic, in the face of adversity and some panic, hysteria even.
“Our professionals in the Police Service have gone about their duties, as they normally would, in the most reassuring manner.
“Calm, collected and respecting of the seriousness of the situation. When you see a Blue uniform you’re somewhat comforted.
“In recent months, there has been an overuse of the word “unprecedented”, sadly for the wrong reasons, but this pandemic truly is.
“During the journey home, I took the opportunity, at a distance of course, to chat with some of our local officers from Beaudesert and Tamborine, stationed at a border crossing on the Mount Lindesay Highway to thank them and chat about this ever changing situation.
“And our team in Blue have really gone unheralded through this, because they’re so well trained and great at what they do.
Mr Buchholz said the new rules and restrictions, such as social distancing, public area closures, stay at home orders and border closures were highly unusual for Australians and were not only challenging for residents, but the Police Officers critical to implementing them.
“These changes were instrumental in ensuring we flattened the curve. Without policing them, we know too well what the consequences could have been. We only have to look to other countries for that.
“But enforcing these rules, that’s a difficult task.
“One week Police were focusing strongly on stopping drink drivers and thieves.
“The next, they were enforcing distancing rules and asking people to pack up their picnic.
“While this was and remains a significant cultural shock for Australians, we must recognise they were enormously challenging and difficult requests of our Police, who are sworn to protect.
“I just want to say thank you. Thank you to our men and women in team blue for getting on with the job. For rising to the challenge and adapting so quickly.
“Your efforts, be it at the border, at the park or in our shopping centres, have been amazing.
“Having the opportunity to speak with a number of our local officers, from Tamborine and Beaudesert at the border stop, was a highlight of the long trip home.
“It was good to see them in high spirits, doing what they’ve been tasked to do in the interest of Queensland.
“Thank you for your work and for the chat! ” Mr Buchholz said.
The Queensland border remains closed as the Coronavirus pandemic continues and other restrictions ease.
Mr Buchholz – Scott O’Connell 0413 424 384