A cold-hearted email to a grieving mother wanting attend her son’s funeral has exposed the brutal nature of Queensland’s harsh border restrictions.
Elena Turner, 72, lives only a few hours away from Queensland and has already lost two children in her lifetime.
This week Ms Turner discovered her son Wayne had died in hospital aged 49, after suffering a series of strokes.
Her only request was that she could drive less than three hours to say goodbye to her son properly at his funeral on Tuesday in Logan.
She pleaded with Queensland Health officials to show compassion and enter the state from her home in Gulmarrad, regional NSW.
However, the short reply she received showed anything but compassion.
The short reply acknowledged her distress, but curtly added, “However, I draw your attention to the Queensland border restrictions, which will prevent your entry into Queensland.”
Ms Turner told the Courier Mail she could not understand why she is not allowed to attend the funeral, coming from a COVID-free area to southeast Queensland where there are active cases.
“Anyone from Logan can get to that funeral and they don’t have any trouble. I would be less of a risk than anyone in the hot spots in Brisbane,” she said. “I don’t understand it, I just don’t understand.”
Her granddaughter Reanna Turner told 7 NEWS her grandmother is “hurting” from the brutal border call.
“She is hurting and she wants to say goodbye to her son — her baby,” she said.
The news follows a series of cases where people have been refused border exemptions on compassionate grounds.
Another story has emerged overnight, as a desperate father is unable to see his young daughter battling cancer.
Brad Jones is trapped across the New South Wales border in Lismore while his youngest daughter Charlotte undergoes chemotherapy in Brisbane.
Despite only being two hours away, he is unable to see her without paying for a two week stay in hotel quarantine across the border.
Charlotte’s mother Melissa is by her side in Brisbane, while Mr Jones remains in the New South Wales Northern Rivers to work and care for their other five children.
He is begging the Queensland Premier to loosen the restrictions so he can be by her side.
“Please Annastacia – have some compassion – I really want to see my daughter,’ Mr Jones told Seven News. “She’s my little princess warrior.’
“I miss having her in my arms, trying to make her smile.”
Outrage over Queensland’s harsh rules hit fever pitch earlier this week after 26-year-old Sarah Caisip was denied permission to attend her father’s funeral.
After an intervention from the Prime Minister, she was granted permission to see her father in his coffin but under police guard and without any family present.
She was allowed to briefly leave her hotel, but she couldn’t go to the funeral itself, instead she was ushered into another room with full PPE on to view her father’s body for just 10 minutes. Her family were kept at arm’s length.
A war of words then erupted between the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and the Prime Minister.
The Federal Government has outlined around 40 cases where ordinary Aussie families have been hit by the border restrictions, despite there being an urgent need for them travel.
They include parents separated from their newborn son for days, a woman seeking follow-up appointments for her breast cancer surgery and a man who wished to farewell his mother before she died.
After being asked whether he thought Ms Palaszczuk’s decision not to give Ms Caisip an exemption was inhumane, the Prime Minister said “it’s hard to draw any other conclusion”.
“It’s just one day I had hoped that something different could be done,” Mr Morrison told Sky News host Peta Credlin on Thursday.
“There’s been some shocking days during the course of this pandemic, and today just hurt.
“At least, I’m glad she got to say one last farewell to her father, Bernard, I’m pleased she was able to do that. But gee, I wish she was able to give her mum and her sister a hug.
“And the other thing is, Peta, we ask our police officers to do some hard things. Can you imagine being one of those police officers today with Sarah? Honestly.”
Mr Morrison said if the premiers believe borders are necessary, then they must find “a better way to deal with the heart”.
Are you in desperate need of crossing the border? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org