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Armed police banned us from crossing the border to visit a dying relative as an inept bureaucracy failed spectacularly.

It is now three years since Queenslanders meekly submitted to the most draconian limitations ever imposed on their freedoms.

It is also three years since the security cameras in our building recorded my wife and me entering the lift to our apartment.

Hours later, I got a call from Queensland Health telling me that we were confined to our apartment for the next 14 days because a Covid-positive person had been seen in the lift 10 minutes before we entered it.

The next day, the secret police in the form of two health workers in full personal protective armour arrived unannounced at our door to ensure that we hadn’t broken quarantine and slipped out for coffee.

When we had finally served our sentence, several dozen crosswords, two jigsaw puzzles and a blindingly clean oven and refrigerator later, we walked down to New Farm Park, where mounted police were threatening people with arrest for sitting on a park bench.

The hairdresser who has a salon in the street behind us announced she would refuse to abide by the limitations being placed on her business.

A short time later, I watched from our balcony as eight carloads of police descended on her, cordoning off the street.

Did that really happen?

We had the Palaszczuk wall of cement barricades sealing off the Queensland border at Tweed Heads, imprisoning people within the state.

We should remember that people were banned by armed police from crossing the border to return to their homes to be at the bedside of a dying relative by a diktat of the state.

Remember that people were reduced to sleeping in their cars for weeks on end, stranded on the wrong side of the border and running short of money and food as a hopelessly inept Queensland bureaucracy failed spectacularly in processing applications for permission to enter their home state.

Have we forgotten the nightly theatre of the absurd played out on TV screens as Palaszczuk and her surgically attached chief health officer, Jeannette Young, attempted to terrify us into submission with grim-faced, apocalyptic predictions based on secret health advice that remains so to this day.

For performing the role for which she was paid $622,000 a year, Dr Young was awarded the governorship of Queensland. You can’t help good luck.

The ABC joined the pile-on, endlessly promoting the views of its pet health expert Dr Norman Swan, a man who hasn’t practised medicine in 30 years but who confidently announced that the country’s ICU units were about to be swamped by 80,000 infections a day and that doctors would be faced with some very difficult decisions.

They reached 700, briefly, in July 2020.

It’s three years since Ms Palaszczuk, in one of her more cringe-worthy moments – and there have been a few – boasted that Queensland hospitals were for “our people only”.

As a result, a woman pregnant with twins in the northern New South Wales town of Ballina – just 85km from the Queensland border – needing emergency surgery, was judged to be not one of “our people” and refused treatment.

She was forced to wait 16 hours for a CareFlight to Sydney, where she subsequently lost one of her babies. Yes, that really happened and it was just three years ago.

In columns in these pages back then, I wrote: “The message that is being propagated now is that we’re out to save our own skins and for all we care, the rest of the country can go to hell in a handbasket.

We accepted the argument that the curtailment of personal freedom of movement would eradicate the virus despite the absence of any proof that this is so.

“It is likely that, along with the rest of the world, we will have to live with it or watch our society return to the Stone Age, but politicians, wedded to the idea that wielding absolute power will somehow carry the day, cannot concede that this is a possibility.

“The danger is that politicians may come to mistake our good-natured compliance for subservience and begin to believe that the opportunity exists to further crush our freedoms and by doing so remain in power.