Many Australians have been supportive of the border closure between New South Wales and Victoria to stop the spread of COVID-19, however it is causing major problems for some.
Permits have been granted to critical workers that need to commute between the two states but many farmers have not been approved for travel, meaning they can’t go to their farm properties in New South Wales.
They’re warning crops and livestock could be lost if urgent changes aren’t made to the border restrictions.
Speaking exclusively to the Toorak Times, responsible farm owner, Ken Hopley, who resides in Bendigo, said he had cattle at Tennyson and Bunnaloo NSW, but couldn’t get across the border.
“I have about 100 head of cattle, at Bunnaloo, with almost twenty heifers on the pint of calving and more cattle to go from Tennyson up there, in the next month,” Mr Hopley said.
He said he had applied for his third travel permit, after being approved for the first two.
“I was up there two weeks ago, it’s absolutely ridiculous.”
Mr Hopley said he had his own transport, but both he and his driver would require a special permit.
Although Bendigo had seen an increase in coronavirus cases, Mr Hopley said he didn’t understand the restrictions.
“That’s totally separate to breeding cattle – at any other time, if there was a problem, the authorities would come out of the woodwork, and tell you weren’t doing the right thing.
“They are wanting to put animal welfare, by the wayside. When heifers are calving, farmer intervention is sometimes required and without our help both the heifer and calf may die”
“I’ve been at Bunnallo for at least 25 years, and I’d like to think I was part of the community.”
In terms of social distancing on his farms, his nearest neighbour is over 30kms away.
He said a special permit should be issued for the many farmers, in his situation.
Murray Schoorman from the Toorak Times approached NSW RSPCA for comment. Media Liason, Keiren WATSON said “Comments would be best coming from the NSW DPI, however if you would like to make an animal cruelty complaint you can call 1300 CRUELTY.”
The matter has since been referred to NSW DPI and the NSW Premiers Office for their urgent attention.
Residents of Toorak and other affluent suburbs of Melbourne are up in arms at the thought of shortages and avoidable price increases in their premium cuts, to which they are accustom.
News just into the Toorak Times newsroom has confirmed that the NSW Premier, Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP is expected to address this inhumane restriction later today in a press conference.