Annastacia Palaszczuk has been slammed by Today host Karl Stefanovic and Scott Morrison for refusing to allow a devastated son into Queensland to say goodbye to his dying father.
But when the Kilians tried to leave NSW on a $15,000 private charter plane, they were refused a quarantine exemption by Queensland Health officials.
Mr Kilian’s 80-year-old father Frans weighs just 44kg and is dying of pancreatic cancer in a hospital on the Gold Coast.
Queensland Health has rejected the couple’s quarantine exemption application four times even though they are both fully vaccinated and even offered to wear hazmat suits and tracking devices during their visit.
Mark Kilian and his wife Anneli flew from LA to Sydney last week and were granted a travel exemption by Border Force and NSW Health. But they were then refused entry to Queensland
Mr Kilian’s 80-year-old father Frans weighs just 44kg and is dying of pancreatic cancer at hospital on the Gold Coast
Mr Kilian said his father’s condition deteriorated rapidly ‘where we knew we needed to get on the next plane we could’
In a moving letter sent on Tuesday, the prime minister apologised to Mr Kilian for the ‘challenge’ his family faces and admitted he is disappointed in the Queensland Government
On the Today Show on Wednesday, Stefanovic called for ‘humanity to prevail’ and said he hopes Mr Kilian can hug his father one last time.
‘The rules that are designed to protect us should never really outweigh our ability to show compassion, surely,’ he said.
Former Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said that while the Queensland Government’s hands are tied, common sense needs to be used.
‘I know that the Queensland and federal officials are in a bit of a no-win situation because if you say yes to this, then where do you draw the line. But on the other hand, common sense is common sense,’ he told Stefanovic.
‘I just want someone to be able to say goodbye to their parent. As a country, we are surely smart enough to put them in a special transport van and you know, the technical experts could come up with a solution. We have got to make a threshold call here.
‘For everyone who has been through Covid, rather than worrying about how everyone else will react, I reckon at least 5million Melburnians would say give them a chance to say goodbye.’
In a moving letter sent on Tuesday, the prime minister apologised to Mr Kilian for the ‘challenge’ his family faces and admitted he is disappointed in the Queensland Government.
‘I recognise that you and Anna have done everything you possibly can to see your father,’ the letter started.
‘I know what an important time this is for you and you can never get these days back. I am disappointed the Queensland Government has not found a workable and compassionate solution.
Queensland Health has rejected the couple’s quarantine exemption application four times even though they are both fully vaccinated. Pictured: Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk
Mr Morrison said he doesn’t have the authority to step in and give an exemption
‘However, the Australian Government does not have the authority to step in and provide exemptions from hotel quarantine for travel into Queensland. Under our federation, these decisions are made by the Queensland Government.’
Mr Morrison said he understood the tough time the family are going through after his own father died early last year.
‘I know how important these times are to families. It is why the Department of Home Affairs provided an exemption for you and your wife Anneli to enter Australia,’ he wrote.
‘Again, I am so sorry for what you are facing.’
Ms Palaszczuk on Tuesday acknowledged what the Kilian family are going through is ‘absolutely tragic’ but said she was following national guidelines on hotel quarantine.
‘If the Federal Government wants to talk to both states, I’m happy to facilitate that,’ she said.
‘But this [hotel quarantine] applies to everybody. This applies to everyone. Every single person.’
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian last week called on other state leaders to show compassion on border exemptions, saying discretion should be taken using ‘human dignity’.
‘My heart breaks when I hear about stories like this. New South Wales has always tried to have a compassionate approach especially when there are circumstances such as this one,’ she said.
‘I just ask all of my colleagues to think carefully before preventing families from being united at a very difficult time.’
Mr Kilian said his father’s condition deteriorated rapidly ‘where we knew we needed to get on the next plane we could’.
They were granted exemptions by federal authorities and the NSW government to fly from LA to Sydney, but once they tried to travel across the border, Queensland Health said no.
Ordinarily, the couple would have to complete two weeks of hotel quarantine, but it is feared the beloved dad will not survive that long.
But when the Kilians tried to leave NSW on a $15,000 private charter plane, they were refused a quarantine exemption by Queensland Health officials
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian last week called on other state leaders to show compassion on border exemptions, saying discretion should be taken using ‘human dignity’
‘Every time we call him, the first words out of his mouth are ‘when are you coming?’ Ms Kilian said.
The couple remain in hotel quarantine in Sydney and have been rejected four times by the Sunshine State who offered ‘cold-hearted responses time and time again’.
‘Our sympathies are with the family however these are clinical decisions that are necessary to keep Queenslanders safe,’ Queensland Health said in a statement.
With time running out they have pleaded with the Palaszczuk government for an exemption on compassionate grounds – offering to charter a private jet, wear hazmat suits and even tracking devices.
‘My father is an Australian citizen. He is one of their constituents. All he is asking is that he has the opportunity to say goodbye to his children, his son and his family and that we can all be there for that last moment,’ Mr Kilian said.
‘We are watching him fade away. His heart is also broken because he was hoping to see us.’