23 July 2020

The revised border restrictions imposed by the New South Wales Government are already proving to be fraught with difficulty in their implementation for regional services and residents.

Member for Northern Victoria, Tania Maxwell said it was still unclear what consideration was being reasonably given to border communities by the New South Wales Government in developing the new restrictions and said that significant implications were already playing out especially for health services and patient care.

Ms Maxwell has spoken with health services across her electorate of Northern Victoria, which spans from Mildura to Corryong and down to South Morang, and is hearing common issues relating to staffing and patient management that affect residents in both states.

Ms Maxwell said that regional health services were being thwarted in providing the most appropriate care for patients and that, if the situation was not immediately addressed, the consequences could be severe.

Issues raised with her so far included maternity services, oncology, cardiology and paediatrics, as well as general staffing.

Ms Maxwell said while small changes to the border zones are welcome, there was still confusion at border crossings and some people had legitimate permits cancelled and were told to self-quarantine because the new rules were not understood at some of the checkpoints.

Quotes attributable to Tania Maxwell MP:

“I am hearing countless stories of confusion and chaos across the whole border from people trying to access work and essential services.”

“The New South Wales Government needs to start listening to our border communities, many members of whom are their own residents, and implement the changes required to the permit system so that it’s workable for people needing to access border services.”

“It is not acceptable for people to be denied access to appropriate health care as a result of the border restrictions and this must be fixed.”