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Thu, 10 Sep, 2020

Scott Morrison’s emotional plea falls on deaf ears

Scott Morrison’s emotional plea falls on deaf ears

Scott Morrison gave an emotional plea to the Queensland Premier to allow a 26-year-old woman attend her father’s funeral today during a radio interview. 

However it seems even the PM’s words did not hold enough weight as it has now prompted Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to claim Mr Morrison “bullied” her during an extraordinary phone call.

Canberran Sarah Caisip, 26, is still stuck in quarantine after she travelled to Queensland to spend time with her father during his final days. 

Unfortunately he died before she could get out.

The Prime Minister confirmed this morning he had called Ms Palaszczuk and urged that she take move to allow Ms Caisip to skip quarantine so she can attend the funeral, which is taking place on Thursday afternoon.

Ms Caisip has since been allowed to have a private viewing at the funeral home after the service, but is not allowed to attend the funeral.

“I’ve appealed to her to overrule the decision,’’ Mr Morrison told 4BC radio earlier today. 

“That would allow Sarah to go to the funeral today. It’s not about borders. It’s not about politicians. It’s not about elections. The only thing that matters today is that Sarah can be with her 11-year-old sister Isobel and her mother while they mourn the passing of their father and husband Bernard at Mount Gravatt today.”

Both Mr Morrison and radio broadcaster Ray Hadley were close to tears during the emotional interview as they spoke about their own father’s deaths.

“Sadly she wasn’t able to see her father before he passed. All of us who have been through that process know how important that is. It’s still fresh in my mind,’’ he said.

Mr Morrison became emotional once again as he discussed the woman being in hotel quarantine on Father’s Day.

“It was Father’s Day on the weekend and I’m just thinking if Sarah had to go through that day in a hotel in isolation and there she is today,” he said.

“Surely, just this once, this can be done.

“There have been no COVID cases in Canberra for 60 days. I’ve done all I can.”

“I just hope they change their mind. I hope they let Sarah go.”

He said he hoped that Queensland could provide “hope” to one family that needed it.

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

“I will not be bullied, nor will I be intimidated by the Prime Minister of this country,” Ms Palaszczuk said,

“(He) contacted me this morning … and I made it very clear to the fact that it was not my decision.

“(I made it clear) that I would pass his comments on to the chief health officer, and it is her decision to make.”

Ms Caisip has written a heartbreaking letter to the Queensland Premier after she was unable to cross the border to spend time with him during his final days.

“My dad is dead and you made me fight to see him, but it was too late and now you won’t let me go to his funeral or see my devastated 11-year-old sister,” Ms Caisip said.

The woman, who lives in the ACT, which is COVID-free was wrestling with the Queensland Government to be allowed into the state in time to visit her dying father Bernard.

This year would be their final Father’s Day together as a family.

“You won’t listen and your government is destroying my life,” she said in her letter to Ms Palaszczuk.

“Now you are preventing me from going to view his body, which is a very important tradition for me, and also preventing me from going to his funeral this Thursday, even though I am in Brisbane in hotel quarantine and only a few kilometres away.

“I came from virus-free Canberra, so the fact that I’m even in quarantine is beyond belief but the fact that I am being denied my basic human rights to care for my grief-stricken mother and little 11-year-old sister enrages, disgusts and devastates me at the same time.

“My little sister is now without my support and I will never forgive you.”

The Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young has spoken to media about her decision to block the 26-year-old woman from attending her father’s funeral in Brisbane on Thursday afternoon.

"The last thing I would want to happen is to have an oubreak at a funeral," she said.

"I do not want to see in Queensland any risks, people attending funerals, catching COVID-19 and then going back to vulnerable places like aged care homes".

Canberra has not had any active cases of coronavirus for two months.