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Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk chokes back tears during final leaders’ debate

Annastacia Palaszczuk became emotional during an election eve debate as she recalled the death of her grandmother this year during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Queensland premier’s maternal grandmother Beryl Erskine died at 95 in June, and she was unable to be by her side despite her calling her granddaughter in pain.

Following a question about support for voluntary assisted suicide, Ms Palaszczuk recalled not being able to see her much-loved relative.

‘Let me tell you why my views have changed on this,’ Ms Palaszczuk said during the Friday debate.

‘I lost my grandmother and it was a very distressing time for me and like many other people, I couldn’t go and see her when she passed away.

Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured) became emotional during an election eve debate as she recalled the death of her grandmother this year during the coronavirus pandemic

Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured) became emotional during an election eve debate as she recalled the death of her grandmother this year during the coronavirus pandemic

Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured) became emotional during an election eve debate as she recalled the death of her grandmother this year during the coronavirus pandemic

‘I don’t want anyone to suffer. I don’t want anyone to have to go through that and I’m saying to Queenslanders, it is a personal matter for a family and the individual and the medical practitioners.

‘It is not for me to make the decision on behalf of them.’

She explained that the difficult time was made even harder because of coronavirus restrictions. 

‘We were limited to two people in that room. She went through incredible pain, in fact the day she called me, when she was in pain, I couldn’t go. I had meetings in the city,’ she said.

‘So I had to ask my mum to go.’

Ms Palaszczuk promised to give her Labor MPs a free vote on voluntary assisted dying during the next term, should her government be re-elected, after a bill was referred to a parliamentary committee.

The premier had raised the issue of her grandmother’s death in August after 26-year-old Canberra nurse Sarah Caisip was denied permission to leave hotel quarantine and attend the Brisbane funeral of her father Bernard Prendergast.

The Queensland Premier's maternal nanna Beryl Erskine (pictured, together) died at 95 in June

The Queensland Premier's maternal nanna Beryl Erskine (pictured, together) died at 95 in June

The Queensland Premier’s maternal nanna Beryl Erskine (pictured, together) died at 95 in June

Annastacia Palaszczuk recalled not being able to see her beloved grandmother before she died because she had meetings to attend (pictured, her funeral notice)

Annastacia Palaszczuk recalled not being able to see her beloved grandmother before she died because she had meetings to attend (pictured, her funeral notice)

Annastacia Palaszczuk recalled not being able to see her beloved grandmother before she died because she had meetings to attend (pictured, her funeral notice)

As opposition leader in June 2014, Ms Palaszczuk cried in Parliament telling of her Polish grandfather’s seven years in a Nazi labour camp after a Labor frontbencher Jo-Ann Miller compared fly-in, fly-out accommodation to ‘mining concentration camps’.

Saturday’s Queensland election will be Australia’s first ever state contest between two female major party leaders.

The debate turned awkward when Brisbane Times state political reporter Lydia Lynch asked them what they respected or admired about each other.

Liberal National Party leader Deb Frecklington, who last year sledged her opponent for not having children like her, said she admired Ms Palaszczuk for standing up for her community.

As Opposition Leader in June 2014, Ms Palaszczuk cried in Parliament telling of her Polish grandfather's seven years in a Nazi labour camp after a Labor frontbencher Jo-Ann Miller (pictured with Beryl Eskine) compared fly-in, fly-out accommodation to 'mining concentration camps')

As Opposition Leader in June 2014, Ms Palaszczuk cried in Parliament telling of her Polish grandfather's seven years in a Nazi labour camp after a Labor frontbencher Jo-Ann Miller (pictured with Beryl Eskine) compared fly-in, fly-out accommodation to 'mining concentration camps')

As Opposition Leader in June 2014, Ms Palaszczuk cried in Parliament telling of her Polish grandfather’s seven years in a Nazi labour camp after a Labor frontbencher Jo-Ann Miller (pictured with Beryl Eskine) compared fly-in, fly-out accommodation to ‘mining concentration camps’)

‘The premier’s been doing that in the Queensland Parliament for 14 years on behalf of her community so I definitely respect that about the premier because I know how close that community is to the premier, just like mine,’ she said.

Ms Palaszczuk, who is campaigning for a third term in power, pointed out how her father Henry Palaszczuk, a former Labor primary industries minister, had a pleasant encounter with Ms Frecklington’s father Don Stiller.

The encounter took place when he was the  former mayor of Taroom Shire Council more than 15 years ago.

‘Both of us have very strong families and I love this story that my father often tells that when your father was mayor, they were in a car together and they were talking about some political incident that happened and they got along incredibly well,’ she said.

Liberal National Party leader Deb Frecklington, (pictured, right) who last year sledged her opponent for not having children like her, said she admired Ms Palaszczuk for standing up for her community

Liberal National Party leader Deb Frecklington, (pictured, right) who last year sledged her opponent for not having children like her, said she admired Ms Palaszczuk for standing up for her community

Liberal National Party leader Deb Frecklington, (pictured, right) who last year sledged her opponent for not having children like her, said she admired Ms Palaszczuk for standing up for her community

Source: Daily Mail Australia | World News

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