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EXCLUSIVE | Ben secures victory for family forced to choose which kids can go to their dad’s funeral

Article image for EXCLUSIVE | Ben secures victory for family forced to choose which kids can go to their dad’s funeral

A Victorian family “devastated” by new funeral attendance rules has been given a special exemption by the Prime Minister’s office to allow every child to attend their father’s funeral tomorrow.

Kevin, a father of 11, died on Sunday and his funeral is scheduled to be held just 12 hours after new coronavirus rules limiting funeral numbers to ten come into force. By defying the government, they faced a $20,000 fine.

His daughter Carolyn told Ben Fordham the restrictions have made the loss even more difficult.

“It’s made it a really hard process, it feels really difficult. It feels like we can’t move on with grieving because we’ve got constant barriers that we’re stepping over.

“All we want to do is celebrate our dad and celebrate his life and celebrate as a family, and unfortunately we can’t do any of those things.”

The family had already heavily restricted the number of funeral attendees, excluding grandchildren and the spouses of family members, and had measured the dimensions of the church to ensure attendees could remain two metres apart.

“We understand where the Morrison government are coming from, we’re not criticising them, however, wouldn’t it have been better to say immediate family only?”

This is a story close to Ben’s heart, having lost his own father late last year.

“We will do everything we can to get a result on this,” he told Carolyn.

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

In response to Ben’s query, the Prime Minister initially told Ben’s team enforcement lies with the Victorian government, but “if they wish to provide an exemption, I will not object.”

After numerous phone calls, the Victorian government refused to comment and shifted responsibility back to the federal government.

The Prime Minister’s office have now given explicit permission for all 11 kids to attend the funeral, under the condition they adhere to the 1.5 -metre rule of social distancing.

Carolyn was relieved and grateful when she heard the news.

“We’re just overwhelmed by the fact you’ve stood up and helped us along here.

“I’m really touched with your determination and effort, because no one else has been able to help us.”

Click PLAY below to hear her full response

Image: Getty/kzenon

 

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