Member for Mount Gambier Troy Bell has met with Premier Steven Marshall to discuss the impact of continuing restrictions on cross border community members. The Independent MP met with the Premier last Friday, ahead of the state’s Transition Committee easing some border restrictions over the weekend.
“I’m pleased to see the government is recognising the continued impact on cross border community members and listening to MPs that represent large cross border areas,” Mr Bell said. “I spoke with the Premier about lifting the testing requirements and returning to the 70km cross border bubble and he has been very responsive on both points, which were lifted on Saturday night,” Mr Bell said.
“I have again requested for a regional representative to be part of our state’s Transition Committee because I do not believe a group living in metropolitan Adelaide understand the daily life of a cross border resident who lives in regional South Australia.”
Mr Bell said both he and Member for MacKillop Nick McBride had been advocating on behalf of local residents since the border closures began 18 months ago. “Those thousands of people who live in cross border communities deserve a voice and I have been working closely with the Member for MacKillop to act as spokespeople for our communities,” he said.
“The continuing uncertainty and snap lockdowns restricting their movements have been particularly hard for people to deal with,” he said. “The weekly COVID testing has been onerous, given the huge queues and need for quarantining until results can be returned. “I’d also like to thank those SA Pathology staff and security who have worked long hours and endured terrible weather conditions during the last few weeks to ensure people can get tested.”
Mr Bell wrote a column highlighting the inequity of testing requirements on cross-border community members in today’s edition of The SE Voice. “I understand the government’s need for caution, however we have had a year and a half to learn from our own experiences and that of our state counterparts,” he said.
“Both the Member for MacKillop and I have been strongly advocating for cross border residents to have a voice in this process and we will not stop until there is a regional representative on the Transition Committee.”