An extraordinary row has erupted over Hollywood actor Tom Hanks as politicians point fingers over who allowed the star to enter Australia.
The controversy was sparked when the A-list star entered Queensland from the US on Tuesday night and was granted an exemption from the state’s strict border rules.
Queensland’s Deputy Premier Steven Miles has accused Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton of ‘lying’ about letting Hanks into the country, news.com.au reported.
An extraordinary row has erupted after Hollywood actor Tom Hanks (pictured left with wife Rita Wilson right) was granted a special exemption to enter Queensland on Tuesday
Federal Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton (pictured) lashed out at the Queensland government for allowing celebrities to enter the state but keeping ordinary families apart
Hanks touched down in the Gold Coast alongside cast, crew and 11 family members to continue filming an Elvis Presley biopic directed by Baz Luhrmann.
The actor, who caught coronavirus while filming the movie in March, is completing his mandatory quarantine at a resort in Broadbeach rather than a state facility.
Mr Dutton attacked the Queensland government on Friday over the star’s exemption.
‘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,’ he said.
Mr Miles hit back at the Home Affairs Minister on Saturday, saying the Australian Border Force would have granted him permission.
‘And what that means is that when Peter Dutton launched that extraordinary attack during the week, he was lying.
‘He was saying that it was us that let Tom Hanks in, when in fact it was him and his own department that let Tom Hanks in,’ Mr Miles claimed.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles (pictured) said Mr Dutton was ‘lying’ and it was his department and the Australian Border Force who granted Hanks permission to enter the state
Hanks will portray Elvis’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, in the blockbuster movie scheduled for release in 2021.
Queensland’s borders are closed to Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has also come under fire for inconsistency on border rules after letting hundreds of AFL players, WAGs and staff enter Queensland via special luxury quarantine while keeping ordinary families apart.
The premier refused to take any responsibility for her border decisions and said Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young made the call to prevent nurse Sarah Caisip from farewelling her father with her family in Brisbane on Thursday.
Ms Caisip, who lives in coronavirus-free Canberra, applied for an exemption last month to visit her sick father Bernard Prendergast in Brisbane – but it took 20 days to get approved and he died of liver cancer two days before her flight.
Mr Hanks (pictured left with wife Rita) is filming an Elvis Presley biopic on the Gold Coast
Sarah Caisip (in yellow) was allowed to have a private viewing of her father’s body, dressed in PPE and with security guards minding her. She was not allowed to greet her family
The young woman, who is in hotel quarantine in Brisbane, was banned from attending her father’s funeral on Thursday because officials believe she is a Covid-19 risk.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison had asked Ms Palaszczuk to make an exception but the premier refused and accused him of ‘bullying and intimidating’ her.
‘I said to the prime minister, I would refer it to the chief health officer and I did that,’ Ms Palaszczuk said on Friday morning.
Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young has defended granting exemption to Hollywood staff and AFL players because they provide revenue for the state.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Mr Dutton and the Department of Home Affairs for comment.
Queensland’s border madness: The heartbroken families
Mark Keans, from Brisbane, was diagnosed with inoperable brain and lung cancer in late July and the doctors believe he won’t make it past Christmas.
Health authorities had initially said only one of Mr Keans’ four Sydney-based children – all of whom are under the age of 13 – could cross the border to see him one last time.
Queensland Health did not at first respond to multiple requests for an exemption from the truck driver’s family, but later told them they can drive into the state and pay for two weeks quarantine in a Brisbane hotel.
A fundraising page to pay for their quarantine has raised more than $200,000, including a $1,000 donation from Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Mr Keans pictured with his children (L-R) Noah 13, Caitlyn 11, Caleb 11, and Isaac, 7
Kimberley Brown and her husband Scott, from Ballina, in northern New South Wales, were told on August 12 that their unborn twins had developed twin to twin transfusion syndrome.
Mrs Brown needed urgent surgery but despite living just two hours away from Queensland’s Mater Hospital doctors told her she would need to apply for a border exemption, which took too long.
She was flown 750km to Sydney but lost one of her twins.
It came ten days after Premier Palaszczuk declared that Queensland hospitals are ‘for our people’.
Kimberley Brown and her husband Scott, from Ballina, in northern NSW, learned that they had lost their unborn baby after being forced to travel 750kms because of Queensland’s border restrictions
Jayne Brown, 60, spent two weeks confined to a tiny hotel room in Brisbane following her recent return from Sydney, where renowned neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo removed two large tumours on her brain.
The grandmother-of-seven requested an exemption from hotel quarantine to self-isolate at home on the Sunshine Coast, but was rejected twice.
She blasted Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who allowed 400 AFL players and officials from coronavirus-riddled Victoria to enter the state and quarantine in a luxury hotel.
Jayne Brown described the decision to allow 400 AFL officials into Queensland as mindblowing
Sarah Caisip, who lives in coronavirus-free Canberra, applied for an exemption last month to visit her sick father Bernard Prendergast in Brisbane – but it took 20 days to get approved and he died of liver cancer two days before her flight.
The young nurse was banned from attending her father’s funeral on Thursday because officials believed she is a Covid-19 risk even though the ACT has had no cases for 60 days.
Ms Caisip was only granted a private viewing of her father’s body, surrounded by guards and forbidden from seeing her shattered mother and 11-year-old sister.
Sarah Caisip was only granted a private viewing of her father’s body, surrounded by guards