A man is locked in a battle of wills with the Queensland Government, after he was refused a travel exemption to see his dying mother.
Mark Talbot of Brisbane applied for an exemption to leave his hotel quarantine on compassionate grounds, desperate to see his mother before she dies.
He was denied by Queensland Health, a decision now under investigation by the Queensland Ombudsman and Human Rights Commission.
Furious over the decision, Mr Talbot remains in lockdown in his hotel room, unable to see his mother Coral, 83, who is dying of organ failure in Hervey Bay.
Mr Talbot rushed back from San Diego in the US, only to have his request to have the 14-day quarantine waived on compassionate grounds denied by Queensland Health in a “generic” two-line email.
“She’s actually not doing too well,” Mr Talbot told Today this morning.
“I think the real issue here is I live in San Diego, I’m a US and Australian citizen, and I feel that they’re just not letting me get through the system as anyone else would normally because of that fact.”
Despite the devastating impacts of the coronavirus in the US, Mr Talbot insists he does not need to isolate as he doesn’t live in a highly affected area.
“I actually live in a very low-risk area in San Diego with, like, 0.1 per cent infection rate and zero deaths,” he explained.
Forced to wait it out, Mr Talbot said there were no other options available to him.
“I’ve suggested in my emails that I’m happy to be accompanied on the visit, to quarantine somewhere else outside the facility that my mother has – which is actually ideal for self-quarantine. There’s separate living quarters at a bed and breakfast that my brother runs on the property, and I could stay there quite OK,” he said.
The sunshine state has 1058 cases of coronavirus, with seven lives lost so far.
The most recent death was the case of a 30-year-old man from Blackwater.