Woman fined with breach says information is lacking

By Zoe McMaugh

The Deniliquin woman who was fined for breaching COVID-19 border permit conditions has claimed she was not properly informed of the expectation on her.

The 33 year-old and a 31 year-old man, who she confirmed is her partner, were allegedly seen in the Deniliquin CBD on Saturday, but police say they should have been isolating at home after returning from a trip to Echuca.

Police told the Pastoral Times on Monday that as a result of the breach, each would be fined $1000.

The woman, who has asked not to be named for fear of persecution, said she and her partner genuinely thought they were not doing anything wrong when they went in to the Deniliquin CBD for what she described as ‘‘essential supplies’’.

She said it was ‘‘all a big kerfuffle’’ and claims ‘‘we were uncertain on what we could do’’.

‘‘My partner has to go to Echuca daily for medical treatment, and we had a 50km cross border pass to do that,’’ she said.

‘‘We had been going through the check point and seeing the police every day, and then all of a sudden one day they said we had to go home and stay there for 14 days.

‘‘When the police came on Saturday it was the first time they had checked on us, and only because someone said they had seen us down the street.

‘‘We had no official paperwork and we were not aware that we could not go out for essential supplies.

‘‘And when the police left here, as far as we were concerned we had received a warning and knew nothing about a fine.’’

The woman explained that the last time the pair went to Echuca, she did not even get out of the car.

She said her partner went in to the Echuca facility for treatment, returned to the car and they drove straight home again.

‘‘Most times we crossed the border the police would take our photo and send us on our way, and on this day I asked what was wrong with our border pass today that was not a problem the day before,’’ she said.

It is understood the issue with the permit related to stricter conditions placed on crossings from last week, coinciding with the new border zones.

The woman said she was unaware the new zones meant she had to reapply for her border crossing permit.

‘‘I am just so confused,’’ she said.

‘‘There is not enough information out there, and we did not realise we had to be quarantined to our home only.

‘‘We’re not going anywhere now, which means my partner is not receiving his treatment.’’

The woman said she was not comfortable making her partner’s medical condition and treatment details public.

■ Permit conditions may differ depending on your reason for travel. Please check and abide by the conditions detailed on your permit. For more information on your personal circumstances, please check with the permit issuing authority.