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Watchdog investigates Victoria’s handling of border exemptions during lockdown

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Victoria’s handling of border clearances is under investigation after more than EIGHT stranded residents complained – including children trapped in NSW without their parents and a woman unable to get home from a funeral

  • Victorian Ombudsman investigates handling of border exemptions
  • More than 80 stranded Victorians have complained to the watchdog
  • Victoria closed border to NSW on July 9 declaring it an ‘extreme risk zone’










The Victorian Ombudsman is investigating the handling of border exemptions after more than 80 stranded Victorians complained.

The Victoria ombudsman is investigating the health department’s handling of border waivers after more than 80 stranded Victorians complained to the watchdog.

The investigation will examine the department’s use of discretion when it comes to decisions about travel authorization, exemptions, exemptions and relevant human rights considerations.

Victorian ombudsman investigates handling of border waivers after more than 80 stranded Victorians complain

Victoria ombudsman investigates health department's handling of border waivers after more than 80 stranded Victorians complained to watchdog

Victoria ombudsman investigates health department’s handling of border waivers after more than 80 stranded Victorians complained to watchdog

Among the Victorians who have complained are children who wanted to be with their parents after their school closed in NSW, and a woman who became trapped in NSW after a funeral.

It comes after Victoria closed the border with NSW on July 9 after declaring it an ‘extreme risk zone’.

Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass said cases of Victorians trying to get home had been raised with the state health department and several had been resolved.

However, some complaints continue to “raise possible systemic issues about departmental decision-making.”

Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass said cases of Victorians trying to get home had been raised with the state health department and several have been resolved

Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass said cases of Victorians trying to get home had been raised with the state health department and several have been resolved

The investigation will be completed at the end of this year and submitted to parliament

The investigation will be completed at the end of this year and submitted to parliament

She said it would be important to examine whether the balance has been judged ‘reasonable’ in decisions to grant border permits.

With the extended lockdown, the situation is becoming increasingly urgent. Some people tell my office that they are effectively homeless, stuck on the highway and going nowhere else,” she said.

Matters that have come to my office have raised concerns about the exercise of discretion under the relevant public health guidelines.

“This will be a quick survey to help the department identify urgent improvements in processes and decision-making.”

The study will be completed at the end of this year and submitted to the House of Representatives.

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