Sunrise host Sam Armytage was “astounded” to watch the border stoush between Qld’s Premier and the Prime Minister play out on Thursday, slamming the situation as “beyond comprehension.”
It comes after 26-year-old Canberra woman Sarah Caisip was denied an exemption to leave hotel quarantine to attend her father’s funeral in Brisbane with her 11-year-old sister and mother.
Instead, she was granted an eleventh hour appeasement, which saw her don personal protective equipment for a 10 minute private viewing.
After Prime Minister Scott Morrison heard Sarah’s story on radio on Thursday morning, he called Qld Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and pleaded with her to allow an exemption.
Later in the day Ms Palaszczuk said she refused “to be bullied by the Prime Minister”, slamming the “disgusting and disgraceful politics of division.”
Armytage said she was astounded that the Queensland Premier had “played the bullying card”.
“I was astounded (when) I watched the news last night and I saw Annastacia Palaszczuk play the bullying card. Scott Morrison got involved in this situation… He shouldn’t have had to but he did,” she said.
She said what Ms Caisip had been put through was “beyond comprehension”.
“It is beyond comprehension that this would happen here in Australia,” she said.
“It is just unacceptable.”
One Nation MP Mark Latham told Armytage he found it “hard to believe.”
“…That governments can create a bubble for football players, for 400 AFL officials lounging by the pool, for Tom Hanks who’s already brought COVID here once flying into the Gold Coast, but we can’t have a compassionate arrangement so a grieving daughter can go to her father’s funeral, so small children can visit their dying father in hospital,” he said.
“There’s two sets of rules… it seems a shocking double standard that could be corrected
“Palaszczuk hasn’t been bullied, in many cases she is the bully.”
It comes a day after Ms Armytage and her co-hosts discussed the story of Mark Keans, who was told only one of his four children could enter Queensland from Sydney to say goodbye.
A GoFundMe was set up and has raised $200,000 of the $30,000 goal.
Queensland’s chief health officer on Thursday defended the strict border measures, saying Canberra was a hotspot and a high risk to Queensland, despite there having been no new cases in two months, and no community transmission in more than 130 days.
Dr Jeannette Young said funerals were also an “unacceptable risk”.
Ms Palaszczuk on Thursday said all decisions ultimately rested with Dr Young.
“I have made it very clear, these are awful times that every single person has to go through,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Around the world, we have seen bodies buried in pits … where no families have been able to say goodbye … This is a world pandemic, this is not the time to carry on like this.”
Speaking on Sunrise this morning, Queensland Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said she would have let Sarah “hug her mum and her little sister”.
“When I spoke to Sarah, because Sarah was reaching out to anyone that would listen, Sarah hadn’t even heard back from the Premier’s office… this is so unacceptable.
“We need strong border controls but we also need compassion in this decision making. It is not good enough for the Premier to say it’s an authority decision.”