SA leader draws hard line in sand

Tuesday July 28, 2020

Published by The Border Watch

By Todd Lewis

Tough travel restrictions come into effect tonight as Victoria struggles to contain COVID-19 outbreaks

TRAVELLERS from Victoria will be shut out of South Australia indefinitely when stricter border measures come into effect at midnight.

It follows Friday’s announcement from Premier Steven Marshall banning anyone, including South Australians, from entering the state as Victoria’s COVID-19 cases continue to climb.

Cross-border community status will remain but has been refined and only people who reside within 40km of the South Australia-Victoria border will be eligible.

This will allow Edenhope and Dartmoor residents to cross the border, however Casterton (44km) and Portland are among the main western Victorian communities outside the new radius.

Approved cross-border community members will only be able to travel between states for the purpose of employment or education, to provide or receive care and support and obtain food, fuel, supplies or medical care.

The changes come in response to the escalating situation in Victoria, which includes seven active cases in the Glenelg Shire Council area and a further seven active cases in the Horsham Rural City district.

As COVID-19 continues to spread from inner-Melbourne closer to the state border, Member for Mount Gambier Troy Bell said he supported the continued restrictions on travellers from Victoria.

“Our first priority is keeping our community safe and free from coronavirus,” he said.

“As we can see firsthand happening over the border, one case can easily become 10 and if businesses are forced to close again, it will be absolutely devastating for our community and economy.”

Mr Bell admitted he had been inundated with calls and questions from concerned residents about the ever-changing environment.

“As a cross-border community, we are working through issues everyday which are placing an additional workload on my office and staff,” he said.

“However, we are here to assist and we will continue to support anyone who needs our help, including residents from across the border.”

In addition to harsher border restrictions, Premier Steven Marshall also re-introduced caps on weddings, funerals and home gatherings.

Weddings and funerals will be restricted to 100 people, while no more than 50 people can gather at a private residence from tomorrow.

“The entire nation now is on high alert,” Mr Marshall said.

“We do not want to go backwards, we do not want to be putting harsh restrictions and lockdowns back in place.”

Any business without a COVID-Safe plan in place is also required to shut, under a new crackdown by South Australian Police.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said there would be a particular focus on those businesses which do not comply.

“Rather than penalising the whole sector of dining or hotels, we will target those businesses that are doing the wrong thing and they will have to demonstrate they are able to comply before reopening,” Mr Stevens said.


New measures to manage the public health risk posed by Victoria

• South Australians will no longer be able to return to SA from Victoria. Only essential travellers will be allowed.

• To be considered for cross border community travel, you must reside within 40km of the border

• Funerals and weddings capped at 100 people.

• Gatherings in private homes capped at 50 people.