Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk still remembers the moment she received death threats and was trolled online – forcing her to consider quitting the state’s top job.
Palaszczuk, 51, has spoken out about how she managed Queensland’s Covid-19 response and the intense backlash that followed in an interview on Friday.
The Queensland premier revealed that during the height of the pandemic, she received death threats when delivering the state’s strict Covid-19 border rules.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured) revealed she considered quitting the top job after receiving death threats during the pandemic
Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured) said it was the ‘most soul-destroying thing’ to experience ‘vile and violent’ messages online
‘There was one point last year where I thought “Is doing your job worth getting killed over?”,’ she revealed to the CourierMail.
Palaszczuk, the granddaughter of a Nazi war camp survivor, was provided around the clock protection and her movements were strictly limited for a time – forcing her to reconsider walking down to the local shops.
Luckily, the premier received support from her cabinet and family, but said she still felt ‘vulnerable’, as the online messages became ‘vile and violent’.
‘It is the most soul-destroying, the most appalling thing, and it is heartbreaking to think that if it can affect someone like me, who has all this support and all this protection, then how is a child or a teenager who is getting it meant to cope?’ She said.
Palaszczuk (pictured) won the 2020 Queensland state election, winning her third term as Premier
But the premier said she no longer reads a word from online trolls, telling them to go ‘right ahead and do your worst’.
Despite the death threats and trolling, Palaszczuk’s thoughts of walking away from the top job were never set in stone.
Whenever she thought about leaving, she told herself to ‘calm down and get on with it’.
The Premier said if everyday Australians can go about their jobs with no idea how their day will end, she could do the same.
The death threats have subsided, meaning Palaszczuk is back to chatting to locals by the beach and walking down to the local shops without looking over her shoulder.
She said she won’t let anyone make her feel that way again and has learnt to trust her instincts and stand her ground.
Palaszczuk’s (pictured) tough border restrictions during the pandemic brought harsh backlash from the community, including multiple death threats
‘The fact is we are living in times when tough decisions have to be made, and I am the one that has to make them. The buck ultimately stops with me, so I have to be prepared for whatever comes with that,’ she said.
Despite her tough border policies during the pandemic, Palaszczuk defended claims that she ‘has no heart’ by the public and media.
The Premier said ‘it’s awful’, as she grieved the loss of her mum’s sisters husband and her grandmother Beryl, who both passed away last year when visitors weren’t allowed in hospitals.
But Palaszczuk surprised the nation by winning the 2015 state election, again in 2017 and once more in last year’s October state election with her ‘keeping Queenslanders safe’ mantra.
Her recent win during the height of Covid has been a ‘steep learning curve’, teaching her to feel comfortable in her own skin and leadership style.
Palazczuk has reminded Australians to ‘never underestimate a woman’ and to stand strong and confident with every opportunity that comes along.
Annastacia Palaszczuk’s said managing Covid-19 has been a ‘steep learning curve’ (pictured: Palaszczuk at the XXXX brewery in Brisbane)