Andrews hints at bringing services to Victorian border

Andrews hints at bringing services to Victorian border

Coronavirus
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Sympathises with Wimmera residents to be affected from next week.

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Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has suggested the government could look at helping far western Victorian residents set to be deeply inconvenienced the South Australian border closure.

On Wednesday, the South Australian Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said Cross Border Community Members that travel to or from Victoria are no longer permitted to enter South Australia as of August 21, with few exemptions.

It means residents of towns such as Kaniva, Serviceton, Edenhope and Apsley will no longer be able to shop, study school or visit family in South Australia, but only go to carry out essential services such as agricultural work.

At a regional press conference via Zoom on Friday, the premier expressed sympathy for people that will be affected by this move, and said Victoria might need to make exemptions for these residents in response.

"It is a concern whenever either we or the South Australian government fundamentally alter normal patterns of movement," Mr Andrews said.

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"We don't want people to go without, to have to deal with those sorts of changes.

"The stage three (lockdown) rules are there to protect every Victorian, but I think the circumstances over in the far west are in some respects unique.

"I am certainly happy to commit... it might mean we need to try and have some different arrangemnts around freedom of movement in order to get the things that people need.

"We need to have a sense of: Can we bring services into those communities, or can we make arrangements to try and maximise the safey and decrease the risk of that movement further inland?"

Mr Andrews also thanked all regional Victorians for taking stage three restrictions seriously.

The Mail-Times has contacted the office of Agriculture and Regional Development Minister Jaclyn Symes for comment on the cross-border discussions taking place between Victoria and South Australia.

More to come.

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The story Andrews hints at bringing services to Victorian border first appeared on The Wimmera Mail-Times.

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