Daughter’s plea for compassion as father’s funeral nears
FIRST, Toowoomba's Bec Reardon and her sister Hayley Peachey applied for a border exemption to visit their father in Moree after he entered palliative care.
But when the exemption came through, it was already too late.
Barry Peachey sadly died on Sunday, August 16, with his wife Georgie by his side, and his daughters stuck on the other side of the Queensland border.
A second application for an exemption to attend their dad's funeral was rejected.
Now, Mrs Reardon is hoping her third request - that she be allowed to travel by road to Moree and back to Toowoomba to quarantine in a Government-approved hotel - will be approved in time for the funeral on Monday.
She said the last fortnight had been "horrible".
"Having to talk to mum over the phone and help her plan funeral arrangements that way … I just feel like we haven't had time to properly grieve," she said.
Mrs Reardon said that since the minute she found out her father had died, she'd been non-stop applying for border exemptions, on the phone to Queensland Health, and calling State and Federal MP to try and make some headway.
"On the website it says there are exemptions on grounds for compassionate reasons," she said.
"If ours isn't classed as one, I don't know what is."
Toowoomba South MP David Janetzki, who was one of the MPs contacted by Mrs Reardon, said some of the border exemption inconsistencies defied logic.
"The state Labor government has granted exemptions for television celebrities and Melbourne workers to build a boxing ring but medical emergencies and grieving families do not qualify," he said.
He said the State Government needed to provide certainty but also process exemptions more efficiently, apply consistency, and show some real compassion.
A Queensland Health spokesman said: "Our thoughts are with those who have lost a loved one during this unprecedented time".
"We absolutely understand and sympathise that this is a very difficult time to navigate.
"And we understand the health directions in place are strict, but they are designed to protect Queenslanders from COVID-19."