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Family slams premier’s ‘disgusting’ rule

The heartbroken family of a Bali bombing survivor have lashed out at the Queensland government’s double standards, which forced them to turn people away from their loved one’s funeral while more than 50,000 were allowed to attend State of Origin.Jake Ryan, who survived the 2002 Bali bombings, died last month in a freak accident while…

The heartbroken family of a Bali bombing survivor have lashed out at the Queensland government’s double standards, which forced them to turn people away from their loved one’s funeral while more than 50,000 were allowed to attend State of Origin.

Jake Ryan, who survived the 2002 Bali bombings, died last month in a freak accident while on a holiday in Italy with his girlfriend.

Mr Ryan was jogging with his headphones in when he was hit by a train in Noto, Sicily on October 13.

The 39-year-old was also a talented AFL player and the Gold Coast’s Metricon Stadium offered to host a large funeral to allow all of Mr Ryan’s friends and family to celebrate his life.

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His family applied for an exemption to the 100 person limit for the funeral, which was held last week, but was knocked back.

That same week Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk allowed 50,000 people to pack Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium to watch the State of Origin decider.

The game was attended by the world’s largest sporting crowd since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March.

Mr Ryan’s family also questioned why the rules allowed them to hold a memorial with a larger crowd but not a funeral.

On top of that, Ms Palaszczuk announced last week that the limit on funerals would be doubled to 200 from this week.

This announcement came after the family’s request to increase the funeral limit had already been knocked back and left it too late to change the date of the service to allow more people to attend.

Mr Ryan’s brother, Mitch Ryan, told the Courier Mailthe decision was a “kick in the guts”.

“They can generate revenue by getting 50,000 to the footy so they’re happy to allow that, but there’s no benefit to the government in allowing bigger gatherings at funerals so we weren’t a priority,” he said.

“Then after all the time we spent trying to get it changed we come out of the funeral and hear they were increasing the limit and letting people dance again. Gee, thank you very much.

“It’s disgusting the way we and other people like us have been treated.”

Mr Ryan’s family created a petition to allow his funeral to be held at Metricon Stadium.

At the time the petition was made the family questioned why more than 40,000 people were allowed to attend the AFL Grand Final on October 24 but they weren’t allowed to have less than 10 per cent of that number at the same sized venue.

The petition gained over 3000 signatures but there was still no response from Ms Palaszczuk or the Chief Health Officer.

On Thursday, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton added his voice to those questioning why a packed crowd was allowed at State of Origin but there were still restrictions on funeral attendance.

Mr Dutton said although he supported the easing of restrictions for sporting events, maintaining restrictions on funerals was “unacceptable”.

“Funerals are a once-in-a-lifetime chance to show respect to a loved one, and people can’t travel up from Sydney to support the family in that circumstance,” he told 2GB.

“If it’s OK for the Premier to allow tens of thousands of people to sit next to each other at a football match, how does she justify not allowing someone to go to the funeral of their mother or son? It’s just unacceptable.

“She’s got people scared at the moment. It’s delivering her a political benefit, but it’s not done on the basis of health advice, and it never has been.”

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