7 January 2021

Parton self-isolates after potential breach of WA COVID-19 rules

| Dominic Giannini
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Mark Parton

Mark Parton attended Queanbeyan Racecourse on Boxing Day. Photo: Facebook.

Liberal MLA Mark Parton says he is self-isolating in Westen Australia while seeking advice after unwittingly breaking WA’s COVID-19 border restrictions.

WA has imposed border restrictions on people from NSW and Victoria who must receive an exemption to enter and quarantine for 14-days upon arrival.

While Mr Parton lives in the ACT, classified by WA as a “very low risk” jurisdiction, he called the horse racing at Queanbeyan on Boxing Day.

While apologising for the oversight, Mr Parton said he felt “pretty stupid” and takes COVID-19 “very seriously”.

“On Monday 4 January, I flew to Western Australia to visit my mum who lives in regional WA. This afternoon, it came to my attention that I have unwittingly breached WA’s border restrictions, due to spending a couple of hours just a few kms across the ACT border,” he wrote on Facebook.

“To be honest, it simply hadn’t occurred to me that I had ‘travelled to NSW’ when I flew into WA this week.

“I immediately sought advice from the relevant authorities and am quarantining until I receive a response on next steps.”

Breaching WA’s conditions of entry by providing false or misleading information can result in fines of up to $50,000 or imprisonment.

Mr Parton’s oversight came to light just a day after it was revealed a dance troupe of 12-year-olds from Jerrabomberra would not be allowed into Adelaide to attend a national dancing competition due to South Australia’s border restrictions.

READ MORE Border closure heartbreak for Jerrabomberra dancers

The five dancers cannot attend the Follow Your Dreams competition after South Australia closed its borders to anyone who had been to NSW in the previous 14 days.

While sympathetic to the plight of Canberrans and regional residents who traverse the ACT-NSW border every day, Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith have consistently warned travellers to keep up to date with the travel restrictions of jurisdictions they intend visiting.

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Capital Retro8:50 pm 07 Jan 21

I hope it is eternal self-isolation in WA.

Unwittingly implies unintentional.

Answering a direct question on a border application form “have you been in NSW” as no, when you have been is not Unwittingly. It is either outright dishonesty or negligence. Seeing as he is making excuses that he kinda thinks of QBN as an extension of Canberra makes me think the former. Especially when he is an elected member of the legislative assembly so should know full well where the border ends.

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