A Dubbo woman is heartbroken after her application for quarantine exemption to visit her dying father was rejected by the Queensland government.
Misty Carter applied for permission to get across the border on Saturday, after her 63 year-old father Phillip Morrison contacted her.
'Morry', as he is known to family and friends, is suffering from lung cancer and has been told he has weeks to live.
He called his daughter about two hours before the Queensland border closure announcement.
"He rang me and said, 'I need you to come up now'," Mrs Carter said. "And what's really heartbreaking is that I've always said that I'm only a phone call away, and when you need me, you call me and I will come."
Family and friends have been rotating visits to care for Mr Morrison since his diagnoses.
Currently, all of NSW is declared a COVID-19 hotspot, and no one from a hotspot is allowed to enter unless they fall under "a limited range of essential purposes". Furthermore, anyone granted permission to enter from a COVID-19 hotspot must stay in "government arranged accommodation for 14 days unless you have received an exemption, which is rare."
While Mrs Carter was granted permission to cross the border, she was denied the exemption from hotel quarantine.
"The million dollar question is, 'who can actually get an exemption?' They're saying it's possible, by having a clause to apply - what do you actually need to be exempt?
"I'm in a rural community, we've had no COVID cases, I'm going to another small town, where there's been no cases. Hearing the heartbreak in his voice, when I said I can't come and he now has to go to hospital was really, really tough. I could just hear in his voice, he's absolutely gutted."
Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders has forwarded Mrs Carter's matter to the NSW Health Minister's office.
"This is a heartbreaking situation on so many levels, and it's something that's happened on far too many occasions when it comes to the Queensland government," Mr Saunders said. "We haven't had a case of COVID-19 in Dubbo for almost 18 months so I'd like to think the relevant authorities up north can use common sense and allow Misty an exemption from quarantine so she can spend valuable time with her father."
Mrs Carter is pleading for the Queensland government to reconsider. "It is essential that we can care for our loved ones in their last moments, no one wants to die alone."
Queensland Health said they cannot comment on individual basis, but a spokesperson said;
"Exemptions can be difficult decisions and they are not always granted. The team must balance care and compassion for individuals while protecting the safety of more than 5 million Queenslanders.
"Following an increase in COVID-19 cases in NSW, QLD declared the state a hotspot from 1am Friday 23 July. Anyone who has been to NSW will not be allowed to enter QLD unless they are a returning QLD resident, except for a limited range of people who can enter for an essential purpose.
"Exemptions are applied in a way that is sensible and sensitive and are undertaken on a case by case basis and guided by the relevant public health direction."
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