Mildura Mayor Simon Clemence has called for a common sense approach to border closures and an immediate review of new South Australian-Victorian border restrictions announced yesterday.
Cr Clemence said the new restrictions would further isolate residents in border communities such as Murrayville, severely restricting, or removing, their access to crucial medical care, fuel supplies, employment, and in some cases their own businesses.
Examples include the fact Murrayville’s community ambulance service would be unable to cross into nearby South Australia to treat patients, or work with the nearest hospital, significantly increasing travel time to hospital services.
Similarly, South Australian-based Mallee Border Health, which provides the only medical services between the border and Underbool, would not be accessible to Victorians seeking treatment.
There are also business owners who live in Murrayville but operate businesses across the border in towns including Pinnaroo.
The Mayor said Council made contact with Victoria’s Cross Border Commissioner Luke Wilson on Wednesday night, highlighting the significant impact of the new restrictions.
Cr Clemence said Commissioner Wilson had been supportive of the region’s plight throughout both the NSW and South Australian border restrictions and looked forward to his continued advocacy on our region’s behalf.
Council will continue to advocate strongly at all levels of government today and in coming days to ensure a solution to the current border restrictions as quickly as possible, adding to the advocacy Council has already undertaken to resolve issues caused by the NSW border closure.
“Residents in towns like Murrayville rely heavily, or in some cases exclusively, on access to South Australia for medical care, fuel supplies and employment,” Cr Clemence said.
“They were already doing it tough under the existing border restrictions, but these harsh new restrictions will unfairly impact on our residents in these communities, particularly given the lack of COVID-19 cases in our region.
“Understandably, residents in Murrayville are extremely concerned, anxious and scared by the further isolation caused by these new restrictions.
“Council is acutely aware of their plight and will continue advocating for the support needed to help the Murrayville community through this until common sense prevails and allowances are made.”