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News for December 8, 2021

Victorian Border Communities Rejoice As SA Border Reopens

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Residents from the bordering communities of Victoria were able to travel without issues as South Australia reopens to interstate travelers.

South Australia has either prohibited the majority of Victorians from entering the country or mandated them to submit a permit to enter for 609 consecutive days since the closure on March 24, 2020, a report said.

Kathy Giles said she and her husband Bruce have been stranded in a Murrayville caravan park for ten weeks as a result of the South Australian border closure.

The couple sold their home early this year, purchased a caravan, and then traveled to Balranald where they got stranded for 21 days. Then they were stuck in Buronga for six weeks before ending up in Murrayville in the city where they’ve been for the last ten weeks.

Giles said that she was extremely content to be reunited with her family members who live across the country.

“Over the moon. It’s something we’ve been waiting so long for,” she said.

She admitted that while waiting for the opening of the border was difficult for her and her husband, they felt welcomed and have become part of the Murrayville community.

Giles said that the local traffic controller made a Greek barbecue to celebrate her husband’s birthday.

“The locals in Murrayville are fantastic; they’re more than welcoming,” she said.

Friendship built among stranded travelers

Darren Powell, caretaker of the Murrayville Caravan Park says it’s been a very busy time.

“Last night was the busiest I’ve ever seen, and now we are half-empty again, so swings and roundabouts, I guess,” Powell said.

For several weeks now, the caravan park is full of people waiting at the border for the opportunity to cross over.

“I think the whole town recognized the frustration and people have been hospitable. On two occasions I’ve taken puppies over the border [for grandparents to send them to grandchildren in South Australia].”

“It’s good to see them cross, but I’m sad to see them go. They’ve become good friends.”    

“There’s going to be lots of hugs in South Australia this afternoon I think.”

Border security remains

South Australia Police Commissioner Grant Stevens says that the police will continue to guard the borders to ensure required documents to cross into South Australia.

“We will retain the current level of border checkpoint activity. Our plan is not to stop every vehicle but to randomly check vehicles that are coming into South Australia,” Commissioner Stevens said.

“At midnight we had about 150 vehicles that were lined up, ready to come into South Australia.”    

Travelers must complete the EntryCheck SA document before entering the state. Police will accept hard or electronic copies of forms.

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