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.
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.