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Elderly Man Dies In NSW While Awaiting Queensland Border Reopening

Hannah Blackiston

Published 

Elderly Man Dies In NSW While Awaiting Queensland Border Reopening

An elderly man has died in a NSW caravan part in Tenterfield while waiting for the Queensland border to open.

The 78-year-old man was living in the park in northern NSW with his wife and daughter, hoping the border would open so they could move in with his son.

The Courier Mail reports the family were moving to Stanthrope but were stranded in the park for 14 weeks due to border closures.

Gillian van Niekerk / Alamy Stock Photo
Gillian van Niekerk / Alamy Stock Photo

The park was only 50km from their planned destination in the Southern Downs region of Queensland.

Before moving to the caravan park the family initially stayed at the showgrounds. They applied for a border exemption in early November, but the exemption was withdrawn a week later.

Susan Hosking, a Bundaberg resident who was also locked out of the state by the border closure, said the man had been very 'stressed and anxious' about the situation and the financial implications of border restrictions.

"As far as I know he'd been waiting a while and was very stressed out as we all are," she said. "I had been told he got very, very stressed out about the thought of having to pay for a PCR test."

Hosking was unable to reenter Queensland after travelling to Victoria to see her dying mother.

NSW Police confirmed to the Courier Mail that emergency services were called to a caravan park in Tenterfield at around 3pm on November 22 to reports a man was unresponsive.

He was treated on the scene, but unfortunately could not be revived.

"Officers from New England Police District attended and commenced an investigation into the man's death," NSW Police said in a statement.

"A report will be prepared for the information of the Coroner."

Two women, aged 55 and 71, were living with the man and it's believed he was a full-time carer for both women.

They have been granted an exemption to travel across the border to Queensland to be with their family.

Queensland Opposition Leader David Crisafulli branded the situation 'harrowing', adding it was hard to comprehend how something like this could happen.

"I have said all along you can be safe and compassionate at the same time," he said.

Queensland's current restrictions have identified NSW as a coronavirus hotspot and say travellers are only able to cross the border in specific circumstances. They must then complete 14 days of mandatory quarantine.

The Queensland Council of Civil Liberties has called on the state government to release public health directions to end the confusion around the border reopening which is slated to occur at 80 per cent vaccination in the state.

Initial plans were unveiled three weeks ago, but formal directions are yet to be provided.

"The premier cannot make law by press release," council president Michael Cope said.

"No lawyer will be able to properly advise their client, particularly their small business clients, without access to the actual terms of the law. A press release is no substitute for the actual direction."

Featured Image Credit: Gillian van Niekerk / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: News, Australia

Hannah Blackiston
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