The Nationals’ Member for Euroa Steph Ryan is continuing to campaign for Benalla’s immediate reinstatement into the Victorian border bubble.
Ms Ryan said there was no evidence of COVID-19 in the local community and the government’s decision had done nothing but create difficulty for local people.
“After raising my concerns in Parliament about Benalla’s sudden removal, I have today written to the Health Minister to demand Benalla’s immediate reinstatement in the border bubble,” Ms Ryan said.
“I have been inundated by locals who need to enter the bubble to travel for medical appointments, work or for reasons of care or compassion.
“It was completely heartless of the government to cut Benalla from the border bubble with no notice and with no explanation.
“It is keeping families apart and creating huge stress for people who need to travel to Albury for medical treatment and work.
“Almost a month after this kneejerk decision was announced, the Andrews Government still haven’t bothered to explain why they took this drastic measure.
“Many suspected Benalla was removed from the bubble due to an increase in COVID cases in Shepparton. However, given the outbreak is now under control and restrictions in Shepparton have been eased in line with the rest of regional Victoria, there is no reason to keep Benalla residents locked out.
“I have been contacted by many constituents, including elderly residents worried they needed to complete 14 days quarantine after returning from cancer treatment in Albury.”
Ms Ryan urged the government to work with NSW to design a common set of rules.
“Benalla has been free of COVID since March 2020 and our area has one of the best vaccination rates in the state, with 85.8 per cent of the eligible population having received one dose and 61.2 per cent fully vaccinated,” Ms Ryan said.
“The government can’t hide behind flimsy excuses anymore. It must immediately reinstate Benalla into the border bubble.”