Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell says it’s unfathomable the Victorian Government has done no forward planning for potential state border closures.
Following a briefing from the Andrews Government on Friday morning, Ms Britnell said it was clear nothing had ben learnt from the experiences of cross-border community members for the past six months.
“The Andrews Government has provided no provisions for cross-border communities in their hard lockdown, they are still designing the permit system and can’t provide any information about what that permit system will look like,” she said.
“They could not say if Victoria will implement a similar bubble arrangement to what South Australia is using, they couldn’t say if cross border community members will need one permit or if they will be required to apply for and carry permits from both the Victorian and South Australian Governments.
“It’s absolute chaos and shows that absolutely nothing has been learnt over the past six months.”
Ms Britnell said it was also disgraceful that she and other border MPs had no warning ahead of the Premier’s announcement yesterday and we not offered any information other than a media release.
“In South Australia, the opposition were briefed by the Government ahead of the six day lockdown being announced. By comparison, I found out about the Victorian Government’s decision to close the border, which will have a massive impact on my community via a media conference and was offered no further information until Friday morning,” she said.
“It’s really not good enough – this is above politics, this is about people and the community and making sure they have all the information they need.
“I spent a good part of yesterday on the phone to people living in my cross-border areas, they are fatigued from months of border restrictions that created burdens on how they go about their daily lives.
“There was finally some light at the end of the tunnel, only for it to be shut off and replaced with more stress, anxiety and distress.”