Dec 03, 2021

Elderly man dies 50km away from new home waiting for Queensland border to reopen

Qld police border control
Photo: mypolice.qld.gov.au

The 78-year-old was living with his wife and daughter in Tenterfield when he suddenly died.

The family were in the midst of moving to Stanthorpe in Queensland to live with their son.

But the state’s extremely rigid border restrictions meant the elderly couple and their daughter were forced to set up camp in Tenterfield in northern NSW – just 50km from Stanthorpe over the Queensland border.

The Courier Mail has reported the man’s application for a border exemption, which he submitted in early November, was withdrawn seven days later. 

Bunderberg resident, Susan Hosking – who is also currently banned from re-entering her home state of Queensland after travelling to Victoria to see her dying mother – told the same publication that the elderly man found the border exemption process overwhelming. 

“I had been told he got very, very stressed out about the thought of having to pay for a PCR test.” 

Following reports a man had been found unresponsive at a caravan park on Rouse St, Tenterfield, NSW Police arrived. 

The elderly man sadly could not be revived after being treated at the scene. 

“Officers from New England Police District attended and commenced an investigation into the man’s death,” said a statement issued by NSW Police. 

The Courier Mail also reported that the elderly man was believed to be a full-time carer for two female family members, aged 55 and 71, who lived with him, and who had been granted travel exemptions to cross the border. 

Stating how hard it is to understand how a situation like this could happen, Queensland Opposition Leader, David Crisafulli, described the circumstances as “harrowing”.

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

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