The first day of yet another snap lockdown, and Wodonga Café owner John Miseski is “nervous, frustrated and angry.”
- As Victoria enters its fifth COVID-19 lockdown, border communities express frustration over restrictions
- Those on the Victorian side say they are 300 kilometers from the nearest cases and just across the border there are fewer restrictions
- While some have been lucky with the timing of the lockout, others will lose significant revenue from planned events
“We have not had any cases here, we are 300 kilometers from Melbourne, but still we get the consequences and have no customers in our store,” Mr Miseski said.
Seeing that companies just across the border in New South Wales are still able to operate, he said, felt totally unfair given the state’s higher numbers.
Despite owning his business on the Victorian side of the border, Mr Miseki lives in Albury, where everyday life for residents and businesses continues with limited restrictions.
“We travel through Albury to Wodonga and we see everyone still walking around, shopping and eating. We are very frustrated,” he said.
He described Victoria’s fifth lockdown as a massive impact on his business.
Amy and Justin Hoy from Mildura feel lucky.
The couple – who got engaged in July 2020 – had several contingency plans in case their wedding could not take place on July 10 this year.
They ended up with about 85 guests before the recent shutdown in the Victoria region began less than a week later.
Boundary issues were also a concern for the couple.
“My brother is in Sydney, so he ended up in Canberra for a few weeks before the wedding, so he could be a little more confident that he could handle it,” she said.
“We had a groomsman in Perth, so he decided … that he would come across because he was really worried about having to go home and be quarantined for a few weeks.
The couple is now on their honeymoon in Darwin.
“We feel so lucky and we have been so supported by our friends and family. We have had a really good start,” Ms Hoy said.
Field days canceled
Late Thursday night, the committee for Mallee Machinery Field Days in northwest Victoria decided to cancel its event after the latest lockdown news broke.
Secretary Andrew McLean is a farmer from Patchewollock, 140 km south of Mildura, and the committee secretary.
“We have a lot of exhibitors coming from New South Wales, we also have a lot of audiences coming out of New South Wales,” McLean said.
“We had exhibitors who canceled already before last night.”
“We do not know how this virus will [spread] in the next few weeks. It is certainly very transferable and out there in the community. “
The event in the town of Speed usually attracts thousands of farmers and hundreds of exhibitors from Victoria and the interstate.
Organizers were forced to cancel the event last year due to the pandemic.
This year, the site was all marked and several working bees had been kept to clear the grounds. Machines should start arriving within the next week.
“We are running at a loss. We do not have sponsorship that covers the work we have already done.”
The field day usually injects about $ 750,000 into the regional Victorian community each year.