SA-Vic border residents back federal government's 'hot spot' plan

FEARS REMAIN: Border community member Paula Gust, Apsley, Vic, says many residents in the 40-kilometre zone are wary of being locked out of SA again.
FEARS REMAIN: Border community member Paula Gust, Apsley, Vic, says many residents in the 40-kilometre zone are wary of being locked out of SA again.

While regional Victoria has taken an important step out of COVID-19 restrictions, the SA government has no plans to open the SA-Vic border for the foreseeable future.

Paula Gust, who is one of the driving forces behind the Cross Border Call Out Facebook page, says many cross-border zone members are wary of being shut out of SA again.

The group is calling on the Victorian government to adopt the Prime Minister's suggested "hot spot lockdown model" to give cross-border residents greater assurance they will not be impacted by an outbreak in regional Victoria, unless it is along the border.

She says it is frustrating that Vic Premier Dan Andrews is treating those in regional western Vic areas as an "after thought" and still taking a statewide approach to the COVID-19 road map.

It would be useful, according to Ms Gust, if a local government area or town could be isolated if an outbreak occurred there, leaving the rest of regional Vic to continue with some kind of normality.

This would give SA authorities confidence to keep cross-border movements open.

But Ms Gust also believes more exemptions are needed for border residents to go further into SA for medical and compassionate reasons.

"The western Vic region is the only region that can definitively say that no one has the virus, everyone is doing the right thing having weekly COVID-19 tests," she said.

The SA and Vic governments could face a legal challenge for compensation from those adversely affected by the border restrictions.

Maddens Lawyers in Warrnambool, Vic, is calling for people to register their interest in a potential class action.