Federal Gippsland MP Darren Chester calls on Victorian authorities to get residents in NSW home

federal gippsland mp darren chester calls on victorian authorities to get residents in nsw home

Gippsland MP Darren Chester has slammed the Victorian government’s border closure with NSW as a ‘bit of a mess’, with residents left stranded.

The Nationals minister on Monday told Sky News that the “chaotic” snap border closure between the two states on January 1 should not have occurred.

“If I had my way those border closures would not have happened, but I can’t make premiers do something they don’t want to do,” Mr Chester said.

“I’d be urging the Victorian health authorities to show some compassion here to work with these people who did nothing wrong.

“Don’t blame them for going on a holiday when they’ve been locked up for months … you find a way to get them home.”

Camera IconThousands of Victorians waited hours to get across the NSW border before it closed at midnight on January 1. Credit: News Corp Australia, Simon Dallinger

Victorians who did not make it back across the border before it closed have been left in limbo after being told they were only able to return to the state with a “rare” exemption – granted for limited reasons – or if they were a permitted worker.

Camera IconThousands of Victorians waited hours to get across the NSW border before it closed at midnight on January 1. Credit: News Corp Australia, Simon Dallinger

Victorians who did not make it back across the border before it closed have been left in limbo after being told they were only able to return to the state with a “rare” exemption – granted for limited reasons – or if they were a permitted worker.

But Mr Chester said Victorians stranded in NSW should be able to get a COVID-19 test and quarantine in their own homes.

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