Dan Andrews has had an angry spray at the federal government and Border Force, after 17 travellers from New Zealand were allowed to enter Victoria on the first day of the trans-Tasman travel bubble.
While there were initial reports that the travellers, who arrived in Melbourne yesterday afternoon, were put on flights back to Sydney, it now appears that they left the airport and are in the community.
Speaking to reporters today, Andrews said that he is “very disappointed” in the situation and that it is “not acceptable” that the international travellers were allowed into the state.
He said that the travelers should have been asked where they were going when they arrived at Sydney airport, and should have been told they could not enter Victoria under the travel bubble arrangement.
“I don’t think we ever turned our mind to this happening. Our position had been clear. We are not in the New Zealand bubble. At a time when Victorians can’t freely move around their own state for the best of public health reasons, it is not acceptable to me that people from another country, when we have expressly said that we don’t want this to happen now, are able to get into Melbourne.”
Andrews was furious that Victoria had been given “no warning” of the arrivals, saying:
“I have written to the Prime Minister this morning and we’re disappointed this has happened given that I had written to the Prime Minister on this very issue the previous day, saying at some point we will join that New Zealand/Australia travel bubble but it is not appropriate now.”
“This is effectively possible because we haven’t closed our border, I don’t think these people could have travelled domestically into other states where borders are closed. That is what the Prime Minister wants. We have done that and now we see 17 people turning up on our doorstep without any notice, without any structure and we still can’t get the cards from Australian Border Force as to who these people are and where they have gone.”
Federal immigration minister Alan Tudge said that Border Force had delivered the incoming travellers’ passenger to the Victorian state government as of midday today.
Andrews has said that authorities “will be visiting each of those people and making sure that they are fully up to date, as it were, when it comes to the rules, the regulations, the structures that we have in Victoria.”
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