RADIO INTERVIEW – ABC South East – Breakfast with Paul West
Friday, 20 August 2021
SUBJECT: ACT Health border exemption
PAUL WEST, PRESENTER: Now you probably know how many SES rely on the Canberra health services for specialist treatment. And it was put on hold with the ACT lockdown yet a workaround has been sorted out. And to tell you all about it, I'm joined by the Federal Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain Good morning, Kristy.
KRISTY MCBAIN, MEMBER FOR EDEN-MONARO: Good morning, Paul, how are you?
WEST: I'm going very well. Now good result there, Kristy.
MCBAIN: Yeah, obviously, we know how reliant we are on those tertiary health services in the ACT. And my office was being inundated with calls from people who were scheduled to have surgery or specialist appointments in Canberra, really concerned about whether they would go ahead or not. So it's fantastic that a resolution has been achieved now and there's a general exemption in place.
WEST: And so with that general exemption, what do people need to know should I need to travel to Canberra for those medical appointments?
MCBAIN: So the general exemption exists to people in the southern local area health districts, if they are going to Canberra for surgery or specialist appointments that urgent there is a general exemption and they do not need to apply to go to the ACT. However, on the return back to New South Wales, you still do still have to fill in the New South Wales declaration to say you've been in the ACT and follow the stay at home orders for 14 days.
WEST: So is it a matter if you are traveling to Canberra of just getting in the car and going?
MCBAIN: Yeah, this stage the direction obviously is to limit travel. She would have to look at whether she would fit within an ACT exemption before she goes. There's no general exemption for that. But if at all possible, limit travel. That has been the direction from these as well.
WEST: And we spoke earlier with some stranded Victorians trying to cross from the south east back into Victoria. Have you been hearing anything from various constituents around Eden-Monaro about this trouble with crossing borders even with the appropriate grounds, that of testing, vaccination all the above?
MCBAIN: I think that we've been living in a very surreal world over the 20 months and last year. My parents got stuck on the Victorian side for over 10 weeks and couldn't get home either. I would urge any Victorian that is stuck here and can't get home to touch base with their local state MP on the Victorian side to try to expedite the exemption process to get them home.
WEST: Well, Kristy McBain. Thank you so much. Great news about the exemptions there for people needing medical service. We appreciate your time.
MCBAIN: Thanks. Have a great day.
WEST: You too Kristy McBain, the Federal Member for Eden-Monaro
MCBAIN: it is making sure you've got your license on you. And that you have also checked with your medical provider that they don't have any specific requirements for you coming from out of the area. Some providers have put on hold a number of things. So please check with your provider that they are proceeding with your procedures or appointments.
WEST: Kristy, what about compassionate grounds? We had a text earlier who was asking about visiting their elderly parent in the ACT it's usually once a fortnight. She's in the 90s and she was wondering what will happen?