Daniel Andrews leaves too many Victorians stuck in limbo

The Andrews Labor Government is mis-managing the ongoing New South Wales border closure and related quarantine arrangements, treating Victorians like second class citizens.

Labor’s border closure announcement on New Year’s Eve left Victorians with only hours to return home, triggered up to 60km traffic backlogs, six hour waits across border checkpoints and has seen a spike in Victorians being placed in mandatory hotel quarantine.

For the Andrews Labor Government to then also suggest families returning to Victoria from Queensland by road via New South Wales, that they do so with a maximum of two stops of up to 15 minutes, goes against all road safety messages.

Thousands of Victorians remain stuck in New South Wales with nowhere to turn. Reports of families calling the DHHS hotline over 30 times only to be refused to have an application for an exemption made and individuals choosing to travel and quarantine in Tasmania so they may then return to Victoria, highlight that under Daniel Andrews too many Victorians are on their own and are being left to fend for themselves.

Furthermore, returned Victorians in hotel quarantine have received no further update on applications to quarantine from home, despite receiving advice inviting applications to be made on Monday 4th January.

The Victorian Liberal Nationals support measures to protect community health and safety but reject the chaotic and callous manner in which Victorians in New South Wales have been treated by the Andrews Labor Government.

The failings of the Andrews Labor Government in 2020 has done enough economic and social damage to Victorians. Daniel Andrews must immediately allocate whatever resources are necessary to clear the border and home quarantine application backlog, with a focus on those needing to return for medical, employment or educational reasons.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Police and Community Safety, David Southwick:

“You know something is very wrong when Victorians are receiving better treatment from Tasmania and other jurisdictions than they are from their own state under Daniel Andrews.

“Daniel Andrews and Labor have turned their back on Victorians stuck in New South Wales and left them with nothing more than a chaotic, unworkable process to lawfully return home.

“Daniel Andrews’ inability to give straight answers to returned Victorians in hotel quarantine shows this government is out of its depth and making it up as it goes along.

“Every one of the thousands of Victorians stranded in New South Wales deserves a pathway to return home safely.”