Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk came out swinging during a committee hearing on Friday, as she pointed the finger at the Australian Border Force over the decision to grant federal approval for Hollywood star Tom Hanks, along with 11 family, cast and crew members, to return to the country.
Palaszczuk placed the blame firmly on Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and the ABF, just hours after Dutton accused the state premier of giving the Castaway star preferential treatment, reports The Guardian. However, approval in fact came from border force, with the state government then being responsible for deciding the terms of quarantine.
“If you are Tom Hanks from California, you are okay. If you are Tom Hanks from Chermside or Castle Hill, sorry, you are not coming in,” Dutton told the Today show on Friday.
NSW Senator Kristina Keneally also weighed in on the issue, branding Dutton a “fool” on Twitter. She wrote: “@PeterDutton_MP has been caught out and looks like a fool. Peter Dutton blamed @AnnastaciaMP for letting “Tom Hanks from Hollywood” into Queensland, when it was actually his own @AusBorderForce who let Mr Hanks and his cast and film crew into Australia.”
.@PeterDutton_MP has been caught out and looks like a fool.
Peter Dutton blamed @AnnastaciaMP for letting “Tom Hanks from Hollywood” into Queensland, when it was actually his own @AusBorderForce who let Mr Hanks and his cast and film crew into Australia 🙄🙄🙄 https://t.co/d9hU5zWSFx
— Kristina Keneally (@KKeneally) September 11, 2020
It comes after Palaszczuk defended herself in an emotional display during Friday morning’s daily Covid briefing, as she told reporters: “I’m human just like everyone else.”
“These issues hurt me deeply. They hurt me deeply because during this pandemic I have lost loved ones as well. I know exactly what people are going through,” she said.
Palaszczuk’s comments come after the Queensland government sparked national outrage when Canberra nurse Sarah Caisip was forced to miss her father’s death and subsequent funeral because she had to remain in hotel quarantine, in line with Queensland’s current restrictions which identify the ACT as a Covid hot spot.
Caisip had pleaded to be granted an exemption to attend the funeral, which was not granted. However she was finally allowed to view her father’s body privately, but was made to wear full PPE and was accompanied by paramedics.
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