Family heartache spotlights Australia virus restrictions

Clay Curtis
September 14, 2020

Mr Morrison said he had called Ms Palaszczuk this morning to make the case for the young woman, after hearing her story on Ray Hadley's 4BC radio show, but went public after the conversation did not end well.

In a heartbreaking letter to the Premier, Ms Caisip wrote how she had to "fight to get back into my home city to see him before he died, but sadly it was too late".

There were harrowing images of the 26-year-old woman dressed in full personal protective equipment, including a face-shield over a medical mask, when she was eventually allowed to have a private viewing of her father's body - isolated from her mother and 11-year-old sister.

Her case is similar to hundreds of others across Australia, as residents are barred from travelling interstate to see their families.

Mr Morrison demanded a please-explain over the case, which came after Ms Palaszczuk controversially declared weeks earlier "in Queensland, we have Queensland hospitals for our people".

"These are very, very heartbreaking issues", she said.

"This isn't about the Premier of Queensland and me or anyone else. surely in the midst of all of this heartache in Covid and everything that everyone's going through, surely just this one thing can be done", he said.

"There's been some shocking days during the course of this pandemic, and today just hurt".

"I have given exemptions from people in entertainment and film because that is bringing a lot of money into this state", she said.

"And the other thing is, Peta, we ask our police officers to do some hard things".

"It was Father's Day on the weekend and I'm just thinking of Sarah, who had to go through that day in a hotel in isolation and there she is today", Morrison said.

Premier Palaszczuck also broke down in tears when discussing the border closure issue today, confessing to reporters she too had lost loved ones during the pandemic.

"I'm mystified at the discretion not exercised today".

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"The most compassionate thing is to save lives and stop funerals".

Sarah Caisip about to see her dad for the last time after his funeral at the Mt Gravatt Cemetery.

A Queensland Health spokesperson said in response to multiple cases of desperate families attempting to cross the border: "We know this is tough, but this about preventing more people dying".

"Never. Never, "he replied. In all of this race we have now, to protect human life from this virus, are we losing our humanity?" she asked".

"We know everything is co-ordinated these days, but to use the personal tragedy of this family is disgusting", she said.

"Now you won't let me go to the funeral or see my devastated 11-year-old sister". But when the rules are written that way, that's a huge loss.

"We're going to lose so much as a result of this awful virus - so that we don't get sick to the back teeth - I don't want to lose anything more than we should". I just don't want us to lose any more than we have to.

Ms Palaszczuk also said she would not be "bullied" or "intimidated" by the Prime Minister, who she said she had told in a phone call that it was not a decision for her to make and that she would pass information on to the Chief Health Officer.

Now Palaszczuk has spoken out about being "bullied" into the decision.

In Parliament, the Queensland Premier accused the Prime Minister of bullying her over borders.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young says after extensive testing, the most likely cause of southeast Queensland's COVID-19 clusters were the two Logan women who travelled to Melbourne.

Mr Morrison said if prime ministers believed that borders were necessary, they should find a "better way to deal with the heart". It's still fresh in my mind, " he added.

"Well, that's why people today are so frustrated when they see double standards. Queensland's current border restrictions are in place for one goal - to save lives". I think the consequences are very far-reaching and the Premier needs to fix the problem.

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