Farming families from across New England and the New South Wales north-west have taken to social media to plead with the Queensland Government to allow their children at boarding school to return home for the holidays.
NSW families who have children at school in Queensland but live outside the border bubble can bring their children home for the holidays, but the children must quarantine for two weeks on their return to the Sunshine State.
Annabelle Monie, who farms between Delungra and Inverell, said the thought of not seeing her children during school holidays was heartbreaking.
“It’s such an uncertain time and I think family is a constant for our children, and taking away the ability for them to be able to see their family just adds to the uncertainty,” she said.
“It’s a really tough time for them and for us.”
The families are sharing videos and photos to highlight their plight, with many making the point the children would effectively be isolated on family farms if they were to return home, and possibly at lower risk of infection than if they remained in Queensland.
“It is an extremely low-risk request that makes very good sense; it is in the best interest of families,” she said.
“We’re talking about NSW families that contribute to the Queensland economy.
“We’re not asking for blanket access to Queensland. We just want our children to come home in the holidays without having to quarantine when they return next term.”
For Moree’s Jason Elbourne, the difficulty of the border closure was further highlighted when his son was injured in a football accident in Queensland.
Mr Elbourne wanted to be by his son’s side, but border restrictions prevented that from happening.
“Unfortunately, being in Moree I don’t have a yacht, I don’t have extensive knowledge of boxing ring construction,” he said, a reference to recent controversies over certain people reportedly granted border exemptions.
“I do not have Dannii Minogue on speed dial or any other celebrity friends, but I do have a very sick son, injured son, in Brisbane Hospital at the moment.
“After a week of trying to get through to the Queensland Government to get an exemption to have self-quarantine, not government quarantine, [my request] has been denied every time. It’s appalling.”