Border shutdown leaves Victorian travellers ‘marooned’
GREY nomads and other travellers who have been turned away at the Queensland border are finding safe places to stay on the Northern Rivers.
But they must show evidence that they haven't been in a COVID-19 hotspot.
Several Northern Rivers holiday parks reported Victorians wanting to book in, but said those they accepted had been travelling for months and, in some cases, for years.
Lismore Centra Tourist Park manager Carmen Thomas said there were currently around 20 vans on site, with several grey nomads from Victoria in the guest mix.
She said potential guests were checked to ensure no-one entered from a pandemic hotspot.
"The majority of our guests have been here since the beginning of COVID-19," she said.
"Most are grey nomads from Victoria but they have been away for a long time some have been travelling around the country for over five years."
At Kyogle Gardens Caravan Park, council's general manager, Graham Kennett said it was vital to look after people who were being turned away at the border, as well as locals.
"We have a small number of permanent residents in the park and have a duty of care to them," he said.
"We also need to balance this with helping people who were effectively marooned because of border closures with Queensland.
"Currently the only restrictions in place here are those concerning public health from the NSW Government."
Meanwhile, North Coast National Showgrounds secretary Mark Bailey said they were operating strictly within government health guidelines.
"As a crown reserve we have been directed by NSW Crown Lands to ask people who want to stay if they are from Victoria or any of the Sydney COVID-19 hot spots," he said.
Reflections Ferry Reserve Holiday Park manager Kylie Jenkins said they have had a few Victorians wanting to book into the Brunswick Heads venue.
"We have turned away bookings from Victorians but we still welcome people who can show identification that they not from a pandemic hotspot," she said.
"Since March 26 staff have been implementing strict hygiene practices here at the holiday park."