The Victorian Greens have called on the Victorian Government to urgently bring home Victorians stranded in NSW, or provide them with financial support until they can.
Since the beginning of the latest lockdown, the Greens have heard from countless Victorians who found themselves stuck interstate when the border restrictions came into effect.
This includes a couple needing to get back to Victoria to care for an elderly woman with worsening cancer, a man who has to move out of his house after it was sold, and others with deteriorating mental health.
Frustratingly, when many of these people have applied for an exemption to return to Victoria and nominated a preferred return date, they haven’t received a response from the Department of Health until after that nominated date, making their applications void.
Victorian Greens spokesperson for health, Dr Tim Read, said it was unacceptable that stranded Victorians were struggling interstate and at risk of losing income and even housing because of a slow-moving bureaucratic process.
He added that given Melburnians were currently in lockdown and mostly at home, and given many of these stranded Victorians were fully vaccinated, the safest time to bring them home would be now rather than after restrictions ease.
The Greens have said that if the government is content to leave stranded Victorians interstate for the foreseeable future, many will need financial support.
Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens health spokesperson, Dr Tim Read:
"Victorians stranded in NSW should be brought home safely now, while we’re in lockdown and spending most of our time at home.
"It’s disappointing that so many fully vaccinated Victorians have applied for exemptions only to receive a response long after the date they had nominated to return, making their applications pointless.
"With no end in sight to the NSW epidemic, the government must announce a plan for stranded Victorians and if they are to remain in NSW much longer, many will need financial support."