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Thursday, 22 October 2020
Page: 38


Dr WEBSTER (Mallee) (13:38): The people of Mallee continue to suffer through extreme border restrictions imposed by the South Australian government. In recent weeks, the South Australian government has extended its border zone from 40 kilometres to 70 kilometres and is now allowing movement across the border for any reason within this zone. But cross-border residents are still required to be tested every seven days if they want to cross, which is causing massive discomfort for people. Timothy and Annabel Hawkins told me they'd just had their 14th test. This testing is, frankly, intrusive, disturbing and unnecessary, when this region has never had a single case.

These border region changes don't help Peter and Jenny, who can't go to support their daughter who is due to give birth to twins. They don't help Jane, who can't accompany her quadriplegic father across the border for essential medical treatment. And they don't help Roland, who can't visit his mother, who has a terminal illness. In the meantime, South Australia has opened its border to New South Wales and now to New Zealand. Yes, I know that New Zealand has done very well controlling the virus, but so have cross-border communities in Mallee. The fact that the South Australian government can prioritise international travellers over their own countrymen is disgraceful. New Zealand had 25 confirmed cases yesterday. Mallee had zero.