People are only allowed to cross the NSW-Victoria border on compassionate grounds if they are attending a funeral or if a family member is in the final days of their life.
Tania Maxwell, who represents Northern Victoria in the state’s Upper House for the Justice Party, believes people should also be able to cross the border to care for terminally ill relatives.
“The border restrictions are impacting residents in very personal and traumatic ways, completely disproportionate to the risk,” Ms Maxwell said.
Sick residents ‘let down by government’
Margaret Docking was diagnosed with stage 4 uterine cancer in March. She is now considered terminally ill.
Margaret Docking has stage 4 cancer and her only wish is to spend time with family.(Supplied: Margaret Docking)
Ms Docking lives with her husband on their farm in Bullioh in the Towong Shire, on the Victorian side of the border.
Two of Ms Docking’s children live in Albury on the NSW side of the border, one lives in Queensland, and the other in Melbourne.
Border restrictions, combined with Melbourne’s lockdown, means Ms Docking is banned from seeing her family, including her 10 grandchildren.
Ms Docking said her only wish was to spend as much quality time as possible with her family.
“There is only one thing left in this world that I want and that is more time with my family,” she said.
Ms Docking’s husband, her main carer, is struggling to look after her alone while also tending to their farm.
She said she felt deeply let down, describing the NSW Government’s requirements for compassionate permits as strict and cruel — particularly considering Towong Shire has zero coronavirus cases.
“I’m in a period of reasonable wellness at the moment,” she explained.
“These could be my good weeks and I want to make memories with the grandchildren.