SPEAKING OUT: Angus Siddins with his son Thom, 3. Picture: contributed
SPEAKING OUT: Angus Siddins with his son Thom, 3. Picture: contributed

Dad battles to give son, 3, fighting chance under border ban

WHEN the border closure cut off his farm, family, and community from essential services in Queensland, Angus Siddins knew he had to take action.

From North Star, a small town just on the NSW side of Goondiwindi which was excluded from the "border bubble" exemption, the renewed shutdown banned Mr Siddins from taking his son Thom, 3, to vital medical appointments in Brisbane.

Anxious for young Thom's rare digestive condition, which could flare up at a moment's notice and had required more than 60 operations already, Mr Siddins voiced his own and the community's concerns in a direct letter to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

"The particular issue Thom has gives us about a week's notice before he needs a procedure - if we had to wait for a pass, we'd have been past needing the procedure, so we were pretty anxious," Mr Siddins said.

"In our situation, there's been one team in Brisbane that's done everything, and I just wouldn't allow anyone else to do that - they've managed him from the minute he was born.

"The next closest place is Sydney, which is at least seven hours away, a completely different health system, and a coronavirus hotspot - it'd be a hell of a procedure to get down there."

Young Thom Siddins, 3, is already loves helping his dad out on the farm. Picture: contributed
Young Thom Siddins, 3, is already loves helping his dad out on the farm. Picture: contributed

In the letter, Mr Siddins also addressed the closure's impact on his agricultural business and wider community.

"Our farm inputs, fertiliser, seed, chemical, all come from or through Goondiwindi, (and) we deliver most of our grain to Goondiwindi or the Downs," he wrote.

"After years of drought, and with the prospect of a much better harvest shortly, how will we access these services when we really need them.

"This is not the Tweed. We don't have the option of another shop, or service, or doctor, just down the road in the other direction."

Mr Siddins' brother Hamish shared the letter on Facebook on Friday, with the post attracting huge community support with almost 1000 shares, likes, and comments.

"Congratulations on a well expressed letter. I do hope you receive a response that it warrants. Politicians need to walk in your shoes!" one resident wrote.

Never expecting his letter to receive such attention, Mr Siddins said his only hope now was that his family and community's struggle wouldn't fall on deaf ears.

"It's just amazing it's been read by so many people - I'd love to think someone in government would read it," he said.

"No one here is advocating for open borders, but I was just trying to air everyone's concerns that we're very much a Goondiwindi or Queensland-based community, and we've basically been told to find another home."

To read Angus Siddins' full letter, click here.

 

MORE STORIES:

BORDER COMMISSIONER: What LNP's new proposal means for you

DRENCHED: Region receives monthly rainfall total overnight

How Facebook uncovered one family's long-lost history



Teen flown to hospital after Warwick crash

Premium Content Teen flown to hospital after Warwick crash

The two-vehicle collision left the teen with multiple upper body injuries.

HAIDLEY’S EXPANSION: Residents divided on development

Premium Content HAIDLEY’S EXPANSION: Residents divided on development

A museum for the historic coach fleet and more is on the cards for the Warwick...

Teen suffers serious head injury in crash

Premium Content Teen suffers serious head injury in crash

A LIFEFLIGHT rescue chopper is en-route to treat an 18-year-old who has sustained a...