Monday, 6 September 2021
MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall is campaigning to safely bring home potentially stranded northern NSW-based boarding students, who attend schools in Queensland, for the upcoming holiday break.
Over the weekend the Queensland Government released a new Queensland Border Direction (No. 40) Boarding School Class Exemption to enable boarding school students to travel home to NSW for the upcoming school holidays.
“The problem is that unlike last year during lockdown, the Queensland Government is insisting that when these students return to school they must quarantine, at their own expense, for a full 14 days,” Mr Marshall said.
“Practically, this makes it almost impossible for students to come home for their two-week holiday as they will miss two weeks of school on their return and be up for thousands of dollars in additional costs to quarantine.
“This means that if a student comes home to their family in Moree – which has never had an active COVID case during the entire pandemic – upon their return to Queensland they’ll have to quarantine for two weeks.
“If they don’t, the government won’t allow them back into the State, let alone back to school.
“This is yet another example of the callous, blunt instrument approach by the Queensland Government to sensitive border restriction measures.
“This is not about ‘keeping Queensland safe for Queenslanders’, it’s simply a lazy, heartless and unnecessary way of playing domestic politics.
“These students pose no public health threat to Queensland, yet are being punished in this punitive way.”
Mr Marshall has written to the Queensland Premier requesting some leniency to ensure students and their families can enjoy the upcoming school holidays, without the threat of mandatory quarantine upon their return.
He is also pushing the NSW Government to release the region, including border zone local government areas from the stay-at-home order, due to no cases existing in the region.
“Lifting the lockdown would certainly help strengthen our arm in discussions with Queensland authorities about easing their border restrictions and once again recognising the border bubble zone,” he said.
“At the moment, they are hiding behind the lockdown on our side of the border and using it as a convenient excuse.”