Victorian residents who have been shut out of their home state due to the escalation of the COVID-19 outbreak in NSW are entitled to scratch their heads in wonder and frustration at the Victorian government's move to effectively ban them from coming home, save for a cumbersome exemption process they must now subject themselves to.
While no one can deny we were all told to strong consider coming home as soon as possible prior to the border slamming shut, the Victorian government's decision to declare all of NSW effectively out of bounds undoubtedly caught many unaware and under prepared.
After a horrid 2020 where many Victorians endured long separation from families and friends in other parts of Australia, the chance to be reunited over the Christmas period, at such a special time of the year, was always going to prove tempting.
But if closing the border to NSW is to form a key platform in our own state's defences against the spread of the coronavirus, Victoria still owes its temporarily displaced citizens some duty of care.
Quite simply, more needs to be done to get more of our fellow Victorians home more quickly.
Whether that's stronger advocacy for assistance in processing applications to return home, or for more help at border control points to support the state's police men and women, every avenue needs to be examined in order to get these people home - without unduly undermining our state's COVID management protocols.
The logic associated with turning these people back does little to solve a problem from a national perspective, and has effectively dumped thousands of people anywhere but where they want to be.
Some of these displaced Victorians could well be staying with relatives or friends who live within the so called border bubble, and who remain free and able to cross into NSW, but those Victorians shut out since the new year remain banned, their only crime being to want to travel and then not be quick enough to arrange their homeward journeys.
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