New travel restrictions sending cross-border residents into a 'steep, downward spiral'

CHANGES: Tiarnee and Jonathan Dyer, from Kaniva, are worried how cross-border residents were going to survive both medically and financially.
CHANGES: Tiarnee and Jonathan Dyer, from Kaniva, are worried how cross-border residents were going to survive both medically and financially.

Residents from cross-border communities were dealt a cruel blow yesterday, as the South Australian Government further tightened its borders to Victoria.

From next Friday, only Victorians who are considered essential travellers will be able to enter SA, leaving many residents from cross-border communities in a very difficult position.

People who currently have a permit to enter SA for employment or education, providing and receiving support or obtaining food, petrol or medical supplies will no longer be able to enter the state from Victoria.

Tiarnee and Jonathan Dyer, along with their three young daughters, live on a farm just outside of Kaniva, and the recent changes from the SA Government has turned their world upside down.

Tiarnee is a teacher at Bordertown Primary School, and Jonathan is a grain farmer - both will be severely affected by being unable to enter South Australia for a multitude of reasons.

Mrs Dyer stated the past six months the family has been on a "roller coaster of emotions", with the new travel restrictions sending them, and many others, into "a steep, downward spiral".

"Our community rely on many services in South Australia, including but not limited to, medical services, education, farm machinery maintenance, farm machinery parts, small business stock and supplies and employment," Mrs Dyer said.

She stated there have been many changes to restrictions over the course of the pandemic, with residents working incredibly hard over the last couple of months to abide by the strict rules.

Some of the protocols included residents needing permits, undertaking COVID-19 tests every seven day and abiding by the strict 40km cross-border travel rules.

Mrs Dyer said the recent border closure has impacted her family's in several different ways.

"My husband relies on businesses in Bordertown for agricultural service and supplies," Mrs Dyer said.

"Without these services, he will need to travel 120km to get equivalent supplies and services that are available 40km away."

Mr Dyer also supplies wheat to South Australian flour mills, and while this aspect of his work has been unaffected at this stage, the couple are unsure whether that will change in the near future.

Much like her husband, Mrs Dyer needs to cross the border regularly for her job as a primary school teacher.

Despite the couple's jobs being affected by the recent changes, the health and wellbeing of their daughter, Mabel, is something they are deeply concerned about.

"Our daughter, Mabel, was born with hip dysplasia and our specialist and leading expert of her complex condition is based in Adelaide," Mrs Dyer said.

"Mabel is now two-years-old and she has had two surgeries and has been braced for most of her life.

"We have been told this week that our specialist will not be able to examine our daughter for the foreseeable future and we many need to seek another specialist within our state as she may require more surgery."

With countless cross-border residents wondering how they are going to survive both medically and financially, many feel like they are being punished for doing the right thing.

Over the past 24-hours, residents have banded together in solidarity, hoping the SA Government may amend their newest restrictions to accommodate for cross-border communities.

Tatiara District Council mayor Graham Excell stated that council were behind the new restrictions, but recognised the impact it will have on many Victorian residents.

"We are supporting SAPOL's efforts of keeping South Australia safe, but we are very conscious of the impact that it has on our communities and cross-border communities," Mr Excell stated.

"We need to recognise that these people are part of our community, it's not us versus them - the border doesn't separate us as a community."

Mr Excell stated council are looking to learn more about the specifics of the new restrictions, so people are able to know whether they are classified as an essential worker.

With it being a tough 24-hours for many residents in cross-border communities, it is important to know that many people from Bordertown are thinking about their Victorian friends.

More to come.