An emotional Annastacia Palaszczuk is standing firm on Queensland's strict COVID-19 quarantine rules after a woman missed her father's funeral in Brisbane.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison rang the Queensland premier asking her to intervene in the case on Thursday, but Ms Palaszczuk instead referred the case to Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young.
In the end, 26-year-old Sarah Caisip was denied permission to go to the funeral but later allowed to view her father's body by herself, dressed in full PPE.
"It is absolutely heartbreaking. Anyone who has seen those images is heartbroken. Everyone's human. It is tough on everybody," Ms Palaszczuk said on Friday.
"Let me make it very clear: I don't make those decisions. I said to the prime minister I would refer it to the chief health officer and I did. It's actually her decision."
Federal Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said Ms Palaszczuk's refusal to intervene was "cold-hearted and nasty".
In response, the emotional premier said she too had lost loved ones during the pandemic and understood how tough the rules were on people.
"I'm human just like everyone else. These issues hurt me deeply. They hurt me deeply because during this pandemic I have lost loved ones as well," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"So I know exactly what people are going through, OK?"
The premier has previously spoken of struggling to visit her own grandmother in an aged care home before she died in June. She is currently unable to visit her uncle, who has lung cancer, in hospital.
Ms Palaszczuk promised to try to increase the amount of staff assessing applications for compassionate exemptions. She said was still open to signing onto a national COVID-19 hotspot regime.
Earlier on Friday, Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington asked Ms Palaszczuk if border exemptions constituted "one rule for the rich and one rule for everyday Queenslanders" at a parliamentary committee hearing.
Ms Frecklington was referring to special quarantine conditions granted to AFL executives and US film star Tom Hanks.
The premier said there had been 229 exemptions for compassionate cases, specialist workers and health workers.
There have also been 31,000 freight exemptions and 170,000 exemptions for people who live in border zones.
Ms Palaszczuk maintained that industries with approved COVID-safe plans such as entertainment and mining needed exemptions to help her state avoid an economic crisis.
"If Queensland or Western Australia was to shut down and go into lockdown that would absolutely be diabolical, the economic impact that that would have on our economy would phenomenal," she said.
The premier said the lifting of stage three COVID-19 restrictions was contributing $520 million per month to the state economy and supporting 50,000 jobs.
She said Treasury had modelled a possible Melbourne-style lockdown in her state and found it would put 330,000 people at risk of losing their jobs.
"You can't have a strong economy unless you have the right health response. This is a twin crisis we have - it is very, very complex," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"We have to get that balance right."
Australian Associated Press