LNP says allowing up to 80 people attend the funeral in Mackay today was wrong and it wasn’t fair on Australians who were being denied celebrating Easter.
LNP says allowing up to 80 people attend the funeral in Mackay today was wrong and it wasn’t fair on Australians who were being denied celebrating Easter.

80 people allowed at funeral ‘wrong’: Mander

Deputy LNP Leader Tim Mander says exemptions that allowed up to 80 people to attend the funeral of an Indigenous elder in Mackay today were "wrong".

Comparing it to Easter, which is "culturally sensitive to millions of Australians," Mr Mander said it was important rules were applied equally and consistently.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young granted the exemption which allowed 80 people at the funeral.

Opposition LNP leader Tim Mander says allowing the funeral of 80 people was ‘wrong’. (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt)
Opposition LNP leader Tim Mander says allowing the funeral of 80 people was ‘wrong’. (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt)

Social distancing measures were put in place and the local public health unit rang all potential attendees this morning to see if any were sick.

Mackay Mayor says Chief Health Officer has questions to answer

Dr Young said a lot of work had been undertaken, with some attendees to remain in their cars.

Mr Mander said the decision was "wrong".

"It's important that the rules are applied equally and consistently to everybody in Queensland," he said.

"To grant 60 or 70 extra people at a funeral flies in the face of every message that's been communicated to Queenslanders over the last couple of weeks.

"Easter this weekend is culturally sensitive to millions of Australians but they have been told that they can't congregate with their families or in churches for that matter."

Speaking earlier today, Dr Young said normally a funeral, like the one in Mackay this morning, would have expected "many, many hundreds if not thousands" to attend.

"This is a very significant elder for that community who has died," she said.

Dr Young said having to make decisions about how many people could attend a funeral had been particularly hard.

" ... some of the funerals have been so tragic ... young children who were run over by accident and then there's a family with parents and grandparents," she said.

Mr Mander said there had been a number of instances in his electorate where exemptions had been made for two or three extra people to attend a funeral.

It's understood Dr Young has granted exemptions for a number of funerals.

Originally published as 80 people allowed at funeral 'wrong': Mander


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