The hosts of Sunrise have been left stunned during an interview on the Queensland border.
David Koch and Natalie Barr were interviewing a pair of elderly sisters who have been separated since the last minute decision to close the NSW-QLD border.
72-year-old Susan Sice was turned away from her home state of Queensland after going to work in NSW, with officials saying she needed to fly back into the state and go into hotel quarantine.
The pensioner is unable to afford these drastic measures, and is being forced to pay $600 a week to stay in a caravan park in NSW.
Susan’s sister Sandi told the Sunrise team that the “heart-wrenching” situation has left her sibling, who struggled to speak, “absolutely gutted”.
“She can’t eat, can’t sleep, feels totally abandoned by our Queensland Government,” she said.
“They don’t care, she’s got pets at home, she had been 10 minutes from the border doing half a day’s work and she can’t get home. It’s an absolute disgrace.”
During the interview with the emotional sisters, Kochie and Nat were shocked as school children began jumping the barricade in the background to go to school.
The children of essential workers are allowed to cross the border for face-to-face schooling.
“Hang on, there are people behind you jumping the fence! They’re going to school and your sister can’t get back home,” Kochie said.
“To expect her to fly in and go to quarantine and kids are jumping the fence to go to school just shows the hypocrisy and ludicrousy of it.”
Sandi went on to explain that because her sister has been identified by the police, she is unable to simply hop the fence herself.
“All she wants to do is drive home. They won’t allow her in. They expect you to fly in and go into quarantine. She’s here for god’s sake,” she said.
Nat and Kochie went on criticise the Queensland government as as “absolutely heartless,” “criminal,” and “just stupid”, saying “there’s got to be some flexibility”.
“We can see Susan is suffering terribly, we understand that they’ve got border rules in place to keep Queenslanders safe but surely there are some exemptions and surely this is one of them,” Nat said.
Susan has applied for a travel exemption to get into Queensland, but has yet to get a response from the government.
After the interview aired on Sunrise, an anonymous viewer offered to pay for Susan’s accommodation until she is allowed to return home in an incredible act of kindness.
Image credit: Channel Seven
This article first appeared on Over60.