Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge has called for compassion as the Queensland Government maintains tough COVID-19 quarantine rules and border restrictions. Source: The Catholic Leader.
“If proper precautions are taken in the interests of public health, compassion means that people should be allowed to attend funerals, to visit terminally ill family members before they die, to make mercy dashes to Queensland hospitals when the need is urgent,” Archbishop Coleridge said.
Pandemic border restrictions and stories of families split apart have sparked fiery politicking between Queensland’s Labor and LNP leaders.
There are concerns about apparent double standards that favour some cross-border activities, but stifle others.
National sporting teams can enter and compete in Queensland, and movie star Tom Hanks is filming on the Gold Coast. Both were examples of allowing exemptions based on economic benefit, not the health protection of the community.
In one controversial case, Canberra-based graduate nurse Sarah Caisip, 26, had to “fight” for an exemption to fly into Queensland to visit her father, but was too late to see him before he died on September 2.
Ms Caisip was taken under guard for a private viewing of her father’s body but she was barred from joining her family and fellow mourners at the funeral.
Archbishop Coleridge said all cases were delicate and required “balancing real values”.
“It’s hard enough to balance the requirements of public health with the needs of the economy but it’s even harder to balance the requirements of public health with the demands of human compassion,” he said.
“That compassion is at the heart of the new kind of solidarity we’ll need to move through the time of pandemic and build a better world beyond it.”
On Saturday, Queensland announced its border ban to the ACT will be lifted at 1am on Friday provided those wishing to enter are flying, Sky News Australia reports.
Queensland border open to ACT residents from September 25 (Sky News Australia)