A dying dad’s last wish to see his four children has been slammed by critics across the country.
The Sydney father with terminal cancer was asked to choose which of his children to see as only one of four will be able to cross the border to Queensland where he is stuck.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been asked to intervene in the tragic case which has sparked outrage over coronavirus border closures in Queensland that have been the subject of pain for many families.
Truck driver Mark Keans, 39, has been told he has inoperable cancer and is unlikely to survive past Christmas.
The children’s grandfather, Bruce Langborne, said the kids “desperately want to see him”.
“They told us we were being selfish – and we weren’t taking into consideration the other cancer patients,” Mr Langborne told Seven.
“I have no idea how you pick and choose which child goes.
“We’re bashing our heads against brick walls.”
Outspoken Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie has become the latest vocal critic of Queensland‘s hard border closure.
Speaking to Today this morning, she hit out at Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s decision to deny the family a border exemption.
“I think this is just being cruel now. There is no compassion in this whatsoever,” Senator Lambie said.
“I don‘t know what Palaszczuk is trying to prove…it seems that they let people through their borders to suit them.
“They‘re not coming from a hot spot, what is the problem? Look at the faces of those kids for goodness sake, this has gone way too far.”
Mr Langborne said his son was “upset he can’t see anyone”.
“He’s even talking about he may have back to NSW just to see us,” he told Today this morning.
“It is especially hard for Mark today because his two middle kids, the twins, are 11 today. That makes it hard for him.”
Mr Langborne said his family had refused to choose which child could go and visit their father.
“We’ve said none,” he said.
“Basically, we could not pick one over any of the others. It’s impossible. Every one of them deserves it… It’s easier to pick the adults, which adults to go and not to go but it wouldn’t be the children.”
Today host Karl Stefanovic said there needed to be a better system in place.
“When you have a family choosing which child should say goodbye to their father, their dad, it’s gone too far. Just too far,” he said.
“Grant the exemption. The Premier is not heartless. She needs to streamline the system while protecting Queenslanders.
“There is a medium. Find it. Let these kids say goodbye and let a dying man say goodbye.”
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Ms Palaszczuk recently said she was unable to visit her dying uncle.
“My uncle was recently diagnosed with lung cancer and I couldn’t go and visit him in the hospital,” she said.
The issue was raised by Opposition leader Deb Frecklington in Queensland parliament, who said the family “may have had more luck if they were in the AFL or crew on a superyacht.”
However the Premier was having none of it, saying: “If Queenslanders had listened to the LNP when they asked for the borders to be opened 64 times, we may have been in the situation of Victoria.”
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard also said he felt “supreme anger, at the Queensland Premier’s decision, which in my view is nothing more base loopy politics. I’m appalled.”
It comes as Newcastle man revealed he doesn’t know when he will be able to see his newborn daughter due to harsh restrictions.
Fly-in-fly-out worker Chris Bennett, who is based in Wangi Wangi, welcomed his first child, Adalyn, with his partner Laura Goff seven weeks ago.
After spending six weeks at home, Mr Bennett, 27, had to go back to work in the mines at Moranbah in North Queensland and has spent the last two weeks in quarantine in a Brisbane hotel, where the mandatory cost is $2800.
“Every day I get up and I listen to the TV to see if they’ve given a date yet (to reopen the border) or allowed any extra exemptions,” Ms Goff, 29, told the Newcastle Herald.
“They’ve just let a whole football code go over the border and stay in a hotel, with their wives having cocktails with each other not social distancing at the swim-up bar, and Chris is in quarantine and I’m trying to take photos and videos of our baby smiling for the first time so he is not missing out.
“I feel like there is an easier way than making an Australian pay $2800 for quarantine (to cross a state border).”