COVID-19 BORDER RESTRICTIONS

Thursday, 26 August 2021                           HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY                                    Page 6693/6694

The Hon. G.G. BROCK (Frome) (15:14): My question is to the Premier. Can the Premier advise the house what arrangements and facilities are in place to monitor the entry of people coming into South Australia from New South Wales and Queensland and in particular Broken Hill? With your leave, and that of the house, sir, I will explain further.

Leave granted.

The Hon. G.G. BROCK: We all understand the issue with the ever-increasing number of COVID-19 infections in regional New South Wales. I would just like to get some confirmation from the Premier that we have every aspect in place to ensure that none of that comes into regional South Australia in particular.

The Hon. S.S. MARSHALL (Dunstan—Premier) (15:14): As the member may be aware, we have level 6 restrictions in place with New South Wales at the moment. They have had over a thousand cases confirmed today. This is really a very high level of protection for our state. This was upgraded earlier this week, requiring even essential travellers who were working within their 14 days of quarantine to have had at least one vaccination. We take the advice of Health. It is implemented by SAPOL. Nobody is coming into this state at the moment from New South Wales without an exemption and there is a very high level of scrutiny on each and every one of those applications.

The Hon. G.G. BROCK (Frome) (15:15): Supplementary: what I was asking the Premier was whether we have people or facilities at the borders on those roads coming out of New South Wales?

The Hon. S.S. MARSHALL (Dunstan—Premier) (15:15): Yes, that is the work of SAPOL. Obviously, we have a very large border with New South Wales, with Victoria, with the Northern Territory and with Western Australia. It’s impossible to essentially monitor every single part of that border, but the police make operational decisions with regard to how we protect that border. I think they have done a good job. We know that some people have come in. We know that they have been identified, we know that they have been apprehended and we know that there are consequences for that.

We know that this is not part of the way we would normally exist here in Australia, putting border arrangements between states, but we do not have a choice at the moment. That’s why, under the emergency management declaration that is in place at the moment, we have the State Coordinator, who is the police commissioner, with the ability to put directions into place with regard to border arrangements. Of course, he is responsible for the physical implementation of those border arrangements.