Rodney Turner has spoken out about his son's death in Blackwater. Picture: Facebook/Rodney Turner
Rodney Turner has spoken out about his son's death in Blackwater. Picture: Facebook/Rodney Turner

Nathan Turner's father speaks out

The father of the 30-year-old miner who was believed to be Australia's youngest coronavirus victim has spoken out about the mistake.

Nathan Turner died last week in Blackwater, a town almost 200 km west of Rockhampton.

An initial post-mortem test returned a positive result for COVID-19, though a coroner's report later revealed he was not infected with the disease.

"After further blood tests and lung tests conducted in the autopsy process so far, they can tell us that they have not found any evidence that Nathan died from or with COVID-19," Turner's father, Rodney, said in a statement posted on Facebook.

Mr Turner said he completely understood the actions taken by Queensland Health. "As a matter of public interest they had to take precautionary action based on the evidence they had before them," he said.

"What I don't understand is how a false positive came about in the first place," he added.

Mr Turner also criticised media and "social media experts" for "making assumptions about how COVID-19 came to Nathan's home town of Blackwater".

"I understand that the potential risk of a communicable disease required immediate action from QLD Health and the public needed to be informed. But now, that risk has passed - or more to the point, never existed in the first place," he said.

"We are not looking for public sympathy; just to set the record straight. This is no longer a story of public concern. It is now time to leave Nathan's fiancé, his family and friends, alone to grieve in private."

MORE: Follow the latest coronavirus news

Australia has recorded a total 7221 cases of COVID-19, with 3104 in New South Wales, 1663 in Victoria, 1059 in Queensland, 440 in South Australia, 591 in Western Australia, 228 in Tasmania, 107 in the Australian Capital Territory and 29 in the Northern Territory. Deaths now total 102. 

Nathan Turner's father speaks out

The father of the 30-year-old miner who was believed to be Australia's youngest coronavirus victim has spoken out about the mistake.

Nathan Turner died last week in Blackwater, a town almost 200 km west of Rockhampton.

An initial post-mortem test returned a positive result for COVID-19, though a coroner's report later revealed he was not infected with the disease.

"After further blood tests and lung tests conducted in the autopsy process so far, they can tell us that they have not found any evidence that Nathan died from or with COVID-19," Turner's father, Rodney, said in a statement posted on Facebook.

Mr Turner said he completely understood the actions taken by Queensland Health.

"As a matter of public interest they had to take precautionary action based on the evidence they had before them," he said.

"What I don't understand is how a false positive came about in the first place," he added.

Mr Turner also criticised media and "social media experts" for "making assumptions about how COVID-19 came to Nathan's home town of Blackwater".

"I feel for the nurse in Rockhampton, falsely accused of transmitting the virus to Blackwater. None of us know her and I'm sure she and Nathan never knew each other either," he said.

"But given the media experience we have had, I can only imagine how she must feel right now."

Mr Turner said the family now wished to grieve in peace.

"I understand that the potential risk of a communicable disease required immediate action from QLD Health and the public needed to be informed. But now, that risk has passed - or more to the point, never existed in the first place," he said.

"We are not looking for public sympathy; just to set the record straight. This is no longer a story of public concern."


Ex-minister goes to court to get COVID fine overtruned

Don Harwin, who was the New South Wales arts minister until April, is set to go head to head with police in court after he was fined for breaching COVID-19 restrictions.

It's a dramatic move for a politician who was involved with the creation of the laws.

In April, the Liberal MP got an absolute shellacking from NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian after The Daily Telegraph snapped him in his Central Coast home despite his principal place of residence being in Sydney.

At the time, the NSW Government said all non-essential travel to regional NSW towns should be cancelled.

Ms Berejiklian said she was "deeply disappointed" by his actions and she apologsied "on behalf of my team to the entire community".

Liberal MP Don Harwin in his home on the Central Coast in April. Picture: Christian Gilles. Source:News Corp Australia

A close ally of the Premier, days later Mr Harwin resigned from his plum job after police fined him $1000 for the Central Coast sojourn.

But he's not taking the fine lying down.

The Daily Telegraph reported Mr Harwin has an October court date lined up in Gosford to contest the fine.

His defence is likely to hinge on whether the restrictions were in place when he was seen at the residence and whether he had extenuating circumstances that would have allowed him to leave Sydney.

The Australian has reported that the fine being overturned could see him returned to cabinet.

The majority of his portfolio was subsumed into the Premier's role and could easily be handed back to Mr Harwin.

Australia to quarantine US troops

Three cheers for the Top End with the Northern Territory now ticking over one full month with not a single coronavirus infection.

The territory was declared "coronavirus free" last month after the last remaining person with COVID-19 recovered.

The NT has recorded 29 cases and is the only state or territory to have no one die from the disease. The last infection was on May 1.

But Darwin's corona-free status has not made it easier on the US troops who arrived yesterday. Around 200 of 1200 Marines landed for the annual Marine Rotational Force Darwin. They will stick around until September.

The troops will still have to quarantine for 14 days as is Australian Government policy. The worry is, of course, they could have brought COVID with them.

The first 200 US Marines from the 2020 Marine Rotational Force pictured arriving in Darwin on Tuesday. The Marines observed strict COVID-19 health requirements on their arrival. Picture: Supplied

North Command group captain Stewart Dowrie told the NT News that all Marines would be screened on arrival.

"They are currently going through the process of being received in the customs and biosecurity checks … they are also going through NT Government health department supported swab testing … that will make sure every marine is excluded form having COVID-19," he said.

"Prior to leaving the quarantine facility at the end of 14 days they will again be tested."

The US troops will be confined to barracks for the fortnight's quarantine.

 

 

Originally published as Nathan Turner's father speaks out


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