‘Fool me once, shame on you’: How to deal with travel restrictions in Australia
Travel restrictions across the country have been in place for the past month, with Queensland banning all major tourist areas, and Western Australia restricting all major rail and road travel.
While there’s been some improvement in recent weeks, a report by the ABC this week warned of further restrictions on rail, air and sea travel.
The ABC understands that Queensland is looking at banning trains and road trips to the state’s remote communities.
Queensland’s tourism minister has also been contacted by the Federal Government about limiting travel to some remote communities, including the Mackay region.
The Mackay Regional Council, a non-profit organisation that works to help Aboriginal people in the Mackays, has warned that its members are facing a “significant” increase in travel costs.
The organisation said the increase in costs were due to the number of people and animals that need to be relocated from the Macky to other areas of the state.
“We have received a significant number of calls to the Mackady Regional Council in recent months from people who were concerned about the travel restrictions and we understand the importance of the issue,” chief executive Michael O’Donnell said.
“Our staff are being asked to take care of these people and the community in a way that they do not have to, for their own safety and that of the communities they live in.”
The Macky is a large, remote community located just off the coast of Western Australia, and the region has been hit by a number of bushfires.
On Tuesday, Queensland Minister for Transport Steven Miles said that travel restrictions were being lifted and that it would be reintroduced in 2018.
“The State Government is working hard to bring the travel restriction to the Queensland Territory and the Northern Territory as soon as possible,” he said.
Queensland also has a number different rules around tourism.
The state restricts visitors from travelling to all areas except for tourist areas.
“Visitors who do not intend to visit any tourism areas, but wish to travel to other parts of the State will be able to do so under the following conditions,” Mr Miles said.
The travel restrictions have been put in place in the Queensland city of Townsville and the Gold Coast, as well as in the north-west of the Goldfields.
Residents of some remote parts of Western Victoria also have their travel restrictions relaxed, with the exception of some areas in the Kimberley and the south-east of the country.
“While we appreciate the Queensland Government is making progress to help our community, the Queensland Tourism Board is also aware that there are additional travel restrictions that will be placed on certain areas of Western and Northern Victoria in 2018,” a spokesperson for the Queensland Travel Authority said.
More than 300 people have been injured in bushfires across Western Australia over the past year, with at least two deaths recorded.
The Government has introduced measures to help the affected communities, with $200 million earmarked to rebuild the state parks.
The Federal Government is also funding more than $10 million to improve the health of those affected by bushfires in Northern Territory.
The federal Government is currently considering funding an expansion of the existing Health Protection Fund to cover the costs of health workers who are needed to respond to bushfire incidents.
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