Kendall Jennings, The Koondrook and Barham Bridge Newspaper
As a part of a border community, you can enjoy both sides of the river without thinking you are in a different state – until the state governments have a difference of opinion over COVID-19 safety.
This past week, border communities had extra pressures with Victorian rural restrictions and NSW restrictions. For Victorian residents, the weekly Friday night at cluBarham was an uneasy time, being turned away from their favourite weekly night out.
At 5.18pm on June 4, cluBarham posted the news on social media advising that the club could not accept custom from Victorian residents. “ATTENTION MEMBERS AND GUESTS, as of very recently, the decision has come down that Victorian residents cannot be in the club at this time. There are no exemptions for border residents. We are very disappointed in this decision and are frustrated by the inconsistent communication that we have received from the authorities. Victorian residents are allowed to order takeaway food and to play golf on our course as this is classed as outdoor exercise. Activities that were cancelled this week within the club will again be postponed until this stay-at-home order is lifted, or when other arrangements are made for border residents. Please be patient with our staff as we are doing the best we can with the information provided to us. Stay safe.”
On Monday, June 7, from 12 noon, New South Wales Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard, granted Victorian border region residents an exemption in the New South Wales Public Health Act 2010, allowing them to use New South Wales services and facilities, as long as they had not left the border bubble region in the past 14 days.
Regional Victorian hospitality is under COVID-19 restrictions and this includes a ban on the use of venue gambling machines.
This article appeared in The Koondrook and Barham Bridge Newspaper, 10 June 2021.