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Palaszczuk government wrote to Border Force to request Tom Hanks to be allowed to enter Queensland

The Queensland government wrote to the Border Force boss asking permission to allow Tom Hanks to enter the state, while families are being banned from crossing the border to visit sick and dying relatives.

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young personally penned a letter to allow the Hollywood star to be allowed to enter the country from the United States.

The A-lister landed from the US on Tuesday night after he was granted an exemption from Queensland’s strict border legislation.

Hanks was then allowed to undergo his mandatory quarantine at a resort of his choice in Broadbeach rather than an official state facility. 

Hollywood actor Tom Hanks (with wife Rita Wilson) has found himself at the centre of

Hollywood actor Tom Hanks (with wife Rita Wilson) found himself at the centre of a row over Queensland’s border closures after being allowed into the state without going into hotel quarantine

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young personally penned a letter to allow the Hollywood star to be allowed to enter the country from the United States

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young personally penned a letter to allow the Hollywood star to be allowed to enter the country from the United States

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. 

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and her government have been criticised for denying entry to devastated families wanting to visit sick and dying relatives. 

But Dr Young has defended Hanks’ exemption, saying he was bringing ‘a lot of money into this state’.

A letter, signed by Dr Young on June 30, was sent to the Australian Border Force Commissioner Mike Outram seeking permission for Hanks to enter to film the movie, The Courier Mail reported.

‘I understand that in order for you to consider an exemption to allow these persons to enter Australia you require confirmation that Queensland supports their entry into our state to resume production,’ Dr Young wrote. 

‘I confirm that Queensland both supports and is willing to accommodate the cast and crew in Queensland.’ 

Cast and crew have since arrived from the US, United Kingdom and Italy, which at the time were recording between 200 to 50,000 cases per day between them. 

The Queensland government wrote to the Border Force boss for permission to allow Tom Hanks (pictured arriving in the Gold Coast in January) to enter the state, while families are being banned from crossing the border to visit sick and dying relatives

The Queensland government wrote to the Border Force boss for permission to allow Tom Hanks (pictured arriving in the Gold Coast in January) to enter the state, while families are being banned from crossing the border to visit sick and dying relatives

Police and Defence Force present as they checked passengers at Brisbane airport flying in from an Adelaide flight on Sunday

Police and Defence Force present as they checked passengers at Brisbane airport flying in from an Adelaide flight on Sunday

Meanwhile, heartbroken families are being told they cannot cross the border into Queensland to visit loved ones on their death bed.

Barbara Zammit is hoping she will be granted access into Queensland to say goodbye to her dying mother, Angela.

Angela is currently receiving palliative care on the Gold Coast, with Ms Zammit saying she was ‘running out of time’.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has become the subject of debate for denying entry into the state for devastated families

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has become the subject of debate for denying entry into the state for devastated families

‘There’s nothing anymore. She’s on morphine,’ she told 7News.

After weeks of asking the state, Ms Zammit on Sunday was told she may be allowed to enter the state.

‘We deserve a chance to say goodbye,’ the emotional daughter said.

It comes after Sarah Caisip, who lives in coronavirus-free Canberra, applied for an exemption last month to visit her sick father Bernard Prendergast in Brisbane.

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.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who lost his own father in January, called Ms Palaszczuk and begged her to let Ms Caisip attend the funeral. 

The Queensland premier refused and then sensationally accused Mr Morrison of bullying and intimidating her. 

Barbara Zammit (back left) is hoping she will be granted access into Queensland to say goodbye to her dying mother, Angela (centre)

Barbara Zammit (back left) is hoping she will be granted access into Queensland to say goodbye to her dying mother, Angela (centre)

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

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

Ms Caisip said Ms Palaszczuk was ‘destroying my life’ and that she would never forgive her. 

Both Ms Palaszczuk and Dr Young have come under fire about the perceived double standards in quarantine restrictions.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton attacked the Queensland government on Friday over Hank’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.  

Deputy Premier Steven Miles hit back at Mr Dutton and claimed the Australian Border Force actually needed to have granted him permission to enter the country.

‘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.

Mr Hanks (pictured left with wife Rita) is filming an Elvis Presley biopic on the Gold Coast

Mr Hanks (pictured left with wife Rita) is filming an Elvis Presley biopic on the Gold Coast 

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

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 

Mr Dutton defended the comment saying the movie star would not have been let into the country without Dr Young’s letter of support.

‘If he was coming here as a tourist, he wouldn’t be approved by Border Force,’ Mr Dutton told the ABC.

‘The point is that Mr Hanks should be treated no differently than somebody else coming back, and that’s the basis on which we argue here.

‘Somebody coming from the ACT where there have been no cases, having to go into a hotel in Brisbane for two weeks before they can see a loved one, who has a life expectancy of only one week, is an outrage and there’s no comparison to make there.’

Australian Medical Association of Queensland president Dr Chris Perry fronted media on Sunday telling ‘online trolls to back off’.

Dr Perry said he believed in the science of Dr Young and said Queensland should follow her advice.

‘If she says the border should stay closed, we think they should stay closed,’ he said.

‘I know she is under stress. Queensland Health has given her more support in staff to take the pressure off.’ 

Queensland’s border madness: The heartbroken families

Mark Keans 

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

Mr Keans pictured with his children (L-R) Noah 13, Caitlyn 11, Caleb 11, and Isaac, 7

Kimberley Brown 

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

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

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

Jayne Brown described the decision to allow 400 AFL officials into Queensland as mindblowing

Sarah Caisip

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

Sarah Caisip was only granted a private viewing of her father’s body, surrounded by guards

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