The Queensland Chief Health Officer has seen sense and established protocols under which students enrolled in boarding schools in Queensland can travel home to NSW or the ACT without having to isolate on return to school.
NSW Senator for NSW, Perin Davey said families across north and western NSW would be breathing a sigh of relief with the news that they can now sensibly take the most direct route to pick-up and drop off their kids if travelling from a COVID free area.
“Families were getting really concerned with school holidays due to start in almost a week,” Senator Davey said.
“The protocols for exemption, which were signed by the Queensland CHO on 5 September, are sensible and practical, which is what families have been calling for all term.”
Senator Davey, who made an impassioned speech in the Senate about the plight of cross-border boarding students across the eastern states commended the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association for their advocacy on behalf of regional and remote families.
“I have been working with the ICPA all term to raise these issues across the three NSW borders and I strongly supported the #NoBordersforBoarders social media campaign.
“The NSW children who go to school across borders come from some of our most isolated areas and the thought that they may have been locked down at school over the September holidays was a serious mental health issue.
“I have worked with the NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell regarding children coming into NSW from Victoria and encouraged her to work with her other state colleagues.
“I have also had great support from Regional Education Minister Andrew Gee and Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan as well as Health Minister Greg Hunt.
“I am so pleased in this instance common sense has prevailed and I hope this sets a template for a consistent set of protocols for all states going forward,” Senator Davey said.
Senator Davey said the Queensland protocols require students and parents to take the most direct route, travel straight to or from their place of residence to the school.