If you love the South Coast - stay away

23 Jul 2020

Posted March 30, 2020

Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie has urged South Australians to heed the call from authorities to end unnecessary travel, particularly to the South Coast where the population has the highest median age in SA and is considered one of the localities at highest risk from the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.

"My message to non-residents is 'if you love the South Coast, stay away'. That means no holidays and no day trips," Rebekha said today.

"We know from the tragedy unfolding overseas that people over the age of 80 and those with underlying health conditions tend to be the most vulnerable to coronavirus.

"Just over 10 per cent of Victor Harbor's residents are aged 80 or over and in Goolwa the percentage is even higher.

"The median age in these two localities alone is around 60 years and residents aged 65 years and over make up around 40 per cent of the population.

"It is understandable that these communities are feeling deeply concerned about being inundated with visitors during the usual peak tourist time of Easter school holidays.

"Unlike Kangaroo Island where the community is also alarmed about being inundated with visitors over the holidays, the Fleurieu doesn't have a moat in the form of Backstairs Passage to restrict travel.

"Thanks to the advocacy of myself and other community leaders, Premier Steven Marshall has contacted the Sealink ferry company to direct them to postpone travel for anyone who is not a local resident or personnel involved in essential services.

"It's not so easy to restrict travel on the Fleurieu so I call on the South Australian public to do the right thing, the safe thing, and stay home these holidays.

"It doesn't matter if you have a holiday home in the region, stay at the house where you live in most of the time.

"I know this is a really difficult time. I've also had to cancel a planned break with my children and I'm currently self-isolating at home after travelling back from Canberra.

"Every one of us needs to do our bit so social distancing can do what it is designed to do, which is to reduce the infection rate by reducing the movement of people who are unaware they have contracted the virus."

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