Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has broken down during an emotional press conference this morning.
The leader cut the address short after tearing up following repeated questions over the state’s harsh border closure, which has separated families.
After days of being slammed over her policy – culminating in an accusation of “bullying” levelled against PM Scott Morrison – Ms Palaszczuk’s composure finally appeared to crumble.
“These are difficult decisions and they’re heartbreaking,” she said.
“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, OK? Thanks,” she said as her voice broke, before abruptly cutting off the press conference and walking away from gathered media.
It comes after four Sydney children were barred from visiting their dying father in Brisbane as a result of the controversial rule.
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Ms Palaszczuk was visibly distressed during the emotional address, where she also discussed the “heartbreaking and gut wrenching” cases of families separated by the border closure which have dominated headlines for days on end.
“These are very, very heartbreaking issues. And as I said to the Prime Minister, I don’t make these decisions. I was very clear. I do not make these decisions,” she said.
“That’s the advice of the chief health officer. What I said, I made it many times at these press conferences and I’ll say it again. As a nation, if we can focus on getting Victoria and NSW under control, then you can set a date for the whole country to open up. I have been absolutely consistent here on this.”
She said she supports national cabinet doing “some further work” on the matter but that she reserved the state’s right to “see how it goes”.
Her comments come as Qantas ramped up their war on border closures, calling on thousands of workers and industry leaders to sign a petition for a national hotspot framework to be formed.
The petition – which is also open to the tourism industry to support – is calling for a common definition of a COVID-19 “hotspot” to be used when making border closures.
According to the airline, the petition calls for “decisions on domestic border closures to be risk-assessed against an agreed set of medical criteria and a shared definition of what constitutes a COVID hotspot”.