Bubbling border frustration

Border frustrations are bubbling over

BUBBLE FRUSTRATION: Jason and Claire Law, Rural Veterinary Services have clinics at Hynam and Naracoorte (SA) and Edenhope.

BUBBLE FRUSTRATION: Jason and Claire Law, Rural Veterinary Services have clinics at Hynam and Naracoorte (SA) and Edenhope.


Victorian-South Australian border frustrations are bubbling over.


Victorian and South Australian border residents, confined to a 40-kilometre bubble, say they're frustrated at new rules governing travel between the two states.

It comes as Victoria's lockdown has been extended until Tuesday, July 27, and SA has announced a seven-day lockdown, on the back of two new community cases.

Jason and Claire Law, Rural Veterinary Services have clinics at Hynam and Naracoorte (SA) and Edenhope.

Mr Law said many border residents were now living in a state of confusion.

"What's caught most people off guard is the level they have gone to, this time," Mr Law said.

He said residents leaving the 40kilometre border bubble had to wear masks when they left the area, there were more regular tests and the bubble boundary had been wound back from 70km.

"A lot of people's residential address may be in Victoria, but they seem to do a lot of business in SA," Mr Law said.

"We now have people living two kilometres from the border and their major centres are 20kms to the west, but they now are finding they have to go 150km east for services.

He said no-one denied rules and restrictions were required.

"What's disappointing for a lot of us is that they had formulated a very workable solution - when these situations arise why can't they reimplement them?," Mr Law said.

Southeast agricultural contractor Jeremy Boddington, Binnum Farm Enterprises, operates out of Binnum, SA, right on the border.

"Cross border residents are required to have weekly COVID tests," Mr Boddington said.

"One of my workers lives in Victoria and he was instructed to go to Naracoote and be tested on day one, five and 13 as well," Mr Boddington said.

"He hasn't been in a red zone, he's 20km from the border, hasn't been to Melbourne and has been home on the weekends."

Mr Boddington said it appeared police on the checkpoints were unaware of the full range of the rules.

"It's not all in black and white, it took several websites and Facebook pages to keep up with it," he said.

"That adds another stress to the day-to-day running of the business."

Machinery access

Grain and hay grower Chris Schnaars, Netherby, said the border bubble would have an impact on gaining access to machinery dealers in Bordertown, South Australia.

"We are at the stage where we can't deal with them, because we can't go over there," Mr Schnaars said.

He said the biggest unknown was when borders would fully reopen.

"Now they are talking about freighting our machine over to them, which is another cost to us."

Mr Schnaars said he'd like to see lockdowns by postcode.

"They have number plate recognition, so it would be easy to pick people up by postcode.

"We can go to Horsham or Warracknabeal, but a lot of our gear has been bought in SA, so to its funny asking a dealer who hasn't sold you something to service it for you."

Krystal Merrett, Telopea Downs, said she hadn't seen much about the needs of the agriculture sector.

"If we had land in SA with livestock on it, it wouldn't be a drama to get over there," Ms Merrett said.

"The last time it happened it was only block to block, if you went anywhere else, you were in strife."

Husband Russ said plans to go to the South East Merino Field Days, Keith, SA - which have since been cancelled - were dashed by the imposition of the border bubble.

"They have set it up so very few people can get across the border," Mr Merrett said.

"It's not feasible to operate within the 40 km bubble."

He said it was the second time, in two years, he had not been able to attend the field days.

"Those rams you are going to select are going to breed your progeny for five years, so if you can't do it properly, you are committing yourself to a potential loss and misdirection for five to 10 years," he said.

"Better liars"

As a spray contractor, he said it was a quiet time of the year in SA.

"It's not as big a drama, but one thing the border restrictions have taught everyone is to be better liars," he said.

"Where we can we want to do the right thing - we will try our best, but it's just too difficult."

Matthew and Lucy Tink's Serviceton property is right on the Victorian-SA border.

They have sheep and crops on both sides of the border, with most of their land in SA.

"The local doctors surgery doesn't have the resources to test too many people, they only have 15 spots a day, because they have other patients they have to see, as well," Mr Tink said.

"I did hear they were setting up a testing station in Keith, but that's outside the bubble, so I don't know how that's going to work.

"Its frustrating for us, we are stuck in the middle and don't know what is supposed to happen."

He said he hoped to spray later in the week and had lucerne he wanted to sow.

"I am not 100 per cent sure on the wording, as to whether or not you are allowed to go from farm to farm, but I am just doing it."


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