Increasing one risk to reduce another

The Victorian Government is putting motorists lives at risk to reduce the threat of COVID-19 Member for south west Coast and Shadow Minister for Rural Roads Roma Britnell says.

Ms Britnell has highlighted a 24-hour transit permit for people who need to travel across New South Wales to return to Victoria as dangerous and putting lives at risk.

She said her office is contacted by people every day raising their concerns about the permit condition.

“A lot of the people I’m hearing from people who call themselves grey nomads and have been in Queensland since before the COVID situation deteriorated across the east coast,” she said.

“They have a green zone permit to come home to Victoria on the condition they travel across NSW within 24 hours.

“It’s a 1000km plus trip, many of these people are towing caravans which means their speed is reduced, increasing their normal travel time.

“Many are reporting to make the trip they would have to travel non-stop which goes against recommendations for taking regular breaks. They would also have to travel from dawn to dusk and possibly overnight, which significantly increases the risk hitting animals.”

Ms Britnell said she has written to both the Health Minister Martin Foley and the Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton asking for changes to be made to the transit permit that reduces road safety risks while maintaining COVID safe rules.

“The Andrews Government is increasing the road safety risk in an effort to reduce the COVID risk – but they aren’t exclusive, you can lower the road safety risk while maintaining COVID protocols to keep the state safe,” she said.

“By encouraging people to race across New South Wales the government is being incredibly irresponsible and going against its own road safety advice.

“I hope the Minister and Chief Health Officer will make the right choice and make changes to improve road safety outcomes for people travelling across NSW to get home.”

Read the letter to the Health Minister and CHO

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