Victorians have sacrificed too much to risk new coronavirus outbreaks in our communities, but these further border closures will have a devastating impact on our cross-border communities if decisions aren’t made with a deep understanding of local needs.
The Andrews Labor Government’s decision to implement its own permit system on the South Australian border has caused confusion and concern in communities that rely on daily access for work, medical appointments and essential supplies and services.
It’s also a crucial time for our farmers, with the 2020 harvest in full swing. Right now, every second counts and time spent navigating an onerous and ill-informed permit system means less time doing their vital work feeding our nation.
Any permit system implemented by the Victorian Government must be streamlined with South Australia to make sure border community residents aren’t bearing an unworkable burden as they go about their daily lives.
We all agree that the health and welfare of Victorians must be our priority. We can’t risk further outbreaks that could be prevented.
But cross-border residents are right to be frustrated with Daniel Andrews’ decision to announce this closure without any of the detail of how the permit system will actually run.
People, not politics, must always come first.
Further border closures will be a massive challenge for our cross-border residents and must be implemented in a sensible manner and informed by a deep understanding of the needs of local farmers, families, businesses and communities.