Scott Morrison urges Qld to have compassion over Mark Kilian quarantine case

Queensland will allow a man stuck in hotel quarantine to see his dying father but only if NSW organises it for them.

Mark Kilian and his wife Anneli Gericke are stuck in isolation in Sydney after travelling from the United States to visit Mr Kilian’s father in Queensland.

Despite being granted exemptions by the Department of Home Affairs and NSW Health, the couple have been denied an exemption by Queensland Health four times. They are both fully vaccinated and have tested negative for Covid-19 several times.

The couple fear by the time they are released from quarantine, Mr Kilian’s father Frans will have already passed away from terminal pancreatic cancer.

When quizzed about the couple’s case on Wednesday morning, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said there had been an update overnight.

“This is a matter for the NSW government. If they want to break the 14-day mandatory quarantine for this couple, and if they can provide (chief health officer) Dr (Jeannette) Young with how they will safely be transferred from Sydney to the Gold Coast, we will do everything we can to facilitate the reunion with his father at the earliest convenience,” she said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier expressed his “disappointment” that the Queensland government knocked back Mr Kilian from visiting his dying father in hospital in a scathing letter published online.

Scott Morrison urges Qld to have compassion over Mark Kilian quarantine case

Camera IconMark Kilian and his wife Anneli Gericke have been refused entry into Queensland as Mark's father dies from pancreatic cancer in hospital. Credit: Channel 9

The couple wrote to Mr Morrison asking for his help.

But in a letter dated June 22, Mr Morrison said he did not have the authority to “step in and provide exemptions from hotel quarantine for travel into Queensland”.

He also expressed his disappointment in Queensland authorities for their handling of the situation despite Mr Kilian and his wife having done “everything (they) possibly can to see (his) father”.

“Having farewelled my own father early last year, I know how important these times are to families,” Mr Morrison wrote.

Scott Morrison urges Qld to have compassion over Mark Kilian quarantine case

Camera IconQueensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it would be up to NSW to organise the transfer. NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled Credit: News Corp Australia

“I appreciate the restrictions and border closures have been frustrating and indeed heartbreaking for many Australians – and all levels of government are making decisions to keep Australia safe.

“I know what an important time this is for you and that you can never get these days back. I am disappointed the Queensland government has not found a workable and compassionate solution.

“ … Under our federation, these decisions are made by the Queensland government.”

On Tuesday, Ms Palaszczuk admitted the situation was “absolutely tragic” but said the national guidelines existed for a reason.

But she said if the federal government was prepared to talk to both Queensland and NSW, she would be “happy to facilitate that”.

“But this (hotel quarantine) applies to everybody,” she said.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian had previously asked her counterparts to show compassion, calling for decisions about situations such as the Kilians’ to be based on “human dignity”.

“NSW has always tried to have a compassionate approach, especially when there are circumstances such as this one,” she said when asked about the case recently.

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