Yarrawonga Chronicle

Border lockdown “disaster”

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Local Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy said the Victorian Government has again delivered an economic disaster to all cross-border communitie­s.

“Sadly, the Andrews Government throws the border bubble community into economic and social chaos,” Mr McCurdy said.

“As well as stopping NSW bubble residents from entering Victoria except for a handful of reasons, that ban has now been extended to Victorian bubble residents. You are not allowed to cross the border to visit a friend, go for a meal at any venue or go on a holiday.

“With no community transmissi­ons - either side of the bubble - this is a decision which is another knife into the heart of the private and economic lives for all of us in the bubble,” he said.

Under the changes, border bubble residents can only cross the border to enter Victoria without a permit for:

• Necessary goods and services, including medical care and getting a COVID-19 test

• Care and compassion­ate reasons

• Paid or voluntary work (including for charitable and religious purposes)

• Education (including childcare and early childhood services)

• Getting a COVID-19 vaccinatio­n

• Sport and exercise at a sporting club or at a sport or physical recreation facility (excluding alpine resorts). Travel for sport and exercise will be limited to the minimum number of people required to participat­e and run it – with spectator travel not permitted. Parents can transport their children for community sport.

Residents and businesses on the NSW and Victorian border have been a dealt another huge blow after essentiall­y being put into another lockdown from today with the border bubble restrictio­ns tightened.

People crossing the border to enter Victoria for one of the essential reasons must not travel further than reasonably necessary to undertake that activity.

The current list of New South Wales and Victorian local government areas in the NSWVictori­a cross border area also remains unchanged.

If a Victorian border bubble resident has travelled to NSW or a NSW border bubble resident enters Victoria for a non-essential reason, they aren’t eligible for the border bubble permit exception and can be subject to a fine of up to $5,452.

Frustrated Barooga resident Justin McClaren perfectly explained on Tim McCurdy’s

Facebook page the helpless situation of NSW border residents who have nowhere to turn if they wanted to appeal the recent border restrictio­ns.

“NSW border residents (particular­ly those of us in small towns), as of Wednesday, are effectivel­y more locked down than anyone in Victoria and anyone in regional NSW,” Mr McClaren posted.

“We cannot appeal to the NSW Government because the situation is caused by Victorian Government policy and cannot appeal to the Victorian Government because we are not Victorian.

“Really proves that neither government understand­s how border communitie­s work and, clearly cannot be bothered to find out.”

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Border residents could now face a fine of up to $5,452 if they cross the border for anything other than a handful of essential reasons.

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