Tasmania snow just part of life in Central Highlands lakeside town of Miena


As the wood fire smoke swirls up, mingling with the snowflakes, the chimneys are barely visible, poking their heads through the snow covered rooftops.

Trucks line the side of the road with their logs now blanketed by snow, the drivers abandoning them with the journey down the mountain deemed too risky to attempt.

There are fewer than 100 people living in the shack community of Miena in Tasmania’s Central Highlands and it is as if they are trapped inside their own personal snow globe.

Miena lies in the heart of Tasmania on the edge of the Great Lake, Australia’s second-largest freshwater lake.(ABC News: April McLennan)

The average temperature through winter is a maximum of 6 degrees Celsius and a minimum of -2C.

But that does not stop local resident Greg Pullen from keeping up with his daily chores.

Carrying his wet laundry in a bright yellow bucket, he pulls on his waders and squelches through the snow, following yesterday’s tracks to the clothes line.

“Those clothes dry on a day like this with a bit of breeze, might be 1 or 2 degrees and some sun,” he said.

A stone house blanketed and surrounded by snow
The average maximum winter temperature in Miena is 6C.(ABC News: April McLennan)

But it is the privacy, rather than the weather that is the selling point.

Sometimes after having a scorching hot shower, Mr Pullen likes to soak up the afternoon rays, running out of the shower and into the snow.

“Yeah, absolutely butt naked.”

“I had a pair of gaiters on over the top of the gum-boots so the snow didn’t go down the side because they’re fairly short gum-boots, it was quite pleasant running around,” he said.

A man stands on his deck with snow in the backround
John moved to Miena because he likes the cold weather.(ABC News: April McLennan)

Along the lake’s edge, John Warden resides in a cosy shack overlooking the plains, moving to Miena to escape the harsh sun in northern New South Wales.

Like a true local, Mr Warden treks through the snow in his thongs as he pushes a load of firewood towards his house.

“I’m a bit of an anomaly in the area because most people fish and hunt, I just like the cold weather,” he said.

A man wearing thongs in deep snow
John Warden is one of the few permanent residents in Miena.(ABC News: April McLennan)

“All these shacks you see around here, they’re all just fishermen, they’re all weekenders basically, there’s not a lot of people that live up here permanently.”

When they are snowed in and there is nothing else to do, some of the locals head down to the pub to keep warm.

It is the kind of place where everyone at the bar knows each other’s name and if the bill is left unpaid, it is not a cause for concern as the owner probably knows where you live.

“For a town of this size to have two pubs, that’s pretty unique,” Mr Warden said.

A regular at both establishments, David Wise said he likes to share his love between the two watering holes to support the local businesses equally.

“If you want to come up here for bells and whistles and bright lights, you’ve come to the wrong place.”

A man stands in a pub.
David Wise says it was always his plan to move to the Great Lakes when he retired.(ABC News: April McLennan)

He has owned a shack in the area for 26 years and as an avid fisher, it was always his retirement plan to move up to the Great Lakes.

“I’ve just come up here and just live in another world, it’s absolutely beautiful when you look out over the lake over there,” he said.

As the snowflakes continue to fall, the local residents could not think of a better place to call home.

“It’s a lovely place to live, it’s quiet, it’s peaceful, I mean it’s beautiful but it’s bleak and barren and desolate as well,” Mr Warden said.

Snow covers trees and hides a fence post in Miena.
There are fewer than 100 people living in the shack community of Miena in Tasmania’s Central Highlands.(ABC News: April McLennan)



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Cold front brings snow to Tasmania as weather alert issued for damaging winds


Snow and wild weather across Tasmania has caused power cuts and road closures, stranding dozens of vehicles — and the Bureau of Meteorology predicting damaging winds for much of the south and east.

After a day of helping people affected by snow, late on Tuesday night police were responding to a vessel-in-distress call at Southport.

A man on a boat had reported striking rocks, and local vessels were preparing to assist in a search.

The boat was not sinking and no injuries had been reported, police said.

Earlier, Tasmanians took to social media to share images and video of snow in areas where it had not been seen since 2015.

But while it was fun for some, the deteriorating conditions caused havoc for others.

Up to 40 vehicles were stuck in snow at Spring Hill, on the Midland Highway, on Tuesday afternoon.

Cars queue on a snow-bound road near kunanyi/Mount Wellington.(Supplied: Matthew Eyles)

Tasmania Police checked on occupants and said “all were safe and warm, with their engines running”.

Twenty vehicles were freed with the use of a grader and police expected to free the rest by 11:00pm (AEST).

The occupants of a further 10 vehicles stranded at Buckland on the Tasman Highway were driven out by police in four-wheel drives.

There have been reports of local farmers using tractors to rescue stranded motorists at both locations.

The cars will be collected when conditions ease.

In a statement, Inspector Brett Berry said no injuries had been reported.

“It is extremely lucky that there were no serious injury crashes in the conditions on the roads this afternoon and evening,” he said.

Snow at Vince's Saddle
Snow closed the Huon Highway south of Hobart.(Supplied: Hayden Applebee)

The state’s main north-south arterial road, the Midland Highway between Launceston and Hobart, was closed to traffic at Melton Mowbray to Tunbridge.

One motorist, Matt, has told ABC Radio Hobart he became stranded at the beginning of Spring Hill on the Midland Highway.

“[There are] three or four trucks that just can’t go any further, the traffic’s banked up here,” he said.

“I’ve actually got a four-wheel drive which I’m pretty confident using. I’m trying to tow a couple of two-wheel drive vehicles to get them going but we just can’t get going.”

Tasmania’s Opposition Leader Rebecca White was one of the people stuck on the Midland Highway.

She warned motorists in the same predicament not to attempt the Mudwalls Road.

“Please don’t. We attempted to get home that way and had to turn around,” she said mid-afternoon.

“That road is still open but it was impassable because of the number of cars that have actually slid off the road and have blocked any traffic going through. That’s quite dangerous.”

The Huon Highway heading south was also closed at the Sandfly turn off due to snow and ice this afternoon.

Snow flurries have also been reported on coastal communities at Primrose Sands south-east of Hobart and at Orford on the east coast.

Inspector Berry urged people to avoid unnecessary travel and to be aware of numerous road closures across the south of the state.

The public was urged to stay up to date with the latest weather warnings on the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) website and roads information on the Tasmania Police website.

Thousands without power, severe weather alert

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More than 13,000 electricity customers were still without power at 9:30pm as wild weather lashed the state.

TasNetworks reported outages in some Hobart suburbs, the Southern Midlands and parts of the east coast.

SES southern regional manager Mark Nelson warned there could be more power outages and damaging winds.

He said crews were on standby for call-outs.

“The winds are predicted to pick up a bit later in the evening but it’s one of these systems that’s quite dynamic and it’s really going to be a watch and see how it pans out [situation],” he said.

Temperatures between 0 and 9 degrees Celsius were forecast for most of Tasmania. Snow is predicted to fall to 300 metres.

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.

Snow falls to low levels around Tasmania

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds for the south-east, east coast and parts of the north-east and midlands forecast districts.

“Gusts of around 110kph are possible about the eastern coastal strip of Tasmania [including Swansea and Bicheno] in the early hours of Wednesday.

“Damaging winds are expected to contract to the east coast of the state by around sunrise on Wednesday morning, then clear the east coast around midday.”

Snowfalls sparks ‘big, cheesy grin’

The temperature on kunanyi/Mount Wellington dropped to -7C on Monday night.

Snowboarder Tim Harmsen rose before 6:00am on Tuesday to take advantage of the cold snap.

Mr Harmsen rode his bike as far up the mountain as he could, then walked the rest of the way when the snow got too deep and fluffy.

He said the snow on the summit was “some of the deepest and softest powder I’ve ever seen in Australia”.

“[I] buckled my bindings up and started cruising down the road on my snowboard, laughing like a little kid,” he said.

“I’ve been wanting to do this for years now.

“The views over Hobart were some of the best I’ve seen.

Snowfalls in west, north

Snow also fell to around 150m on the west coast.

Residents in the state’s north also reported a flurry of early-morning snow and then bigger falls in the evening.

Some at Devon Hills in the Northern Midlands said it was only the second time in 35 years they had seen snow fall.

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Much of the state was also experiencing its coldest day of the year, with Liawenee in Tasmania’s centre, hitting -10.2C.

Police warned bushwalkers the extreme weather conditions could mean the rescue helicopter may not be able to reach people in trouble.

“If there’s low cloud conditions it certainly can make helicopter operations either very dangerous or sometimes not able to be conducted,” Inspector Brian Edmonds said.

“So that will increase the danger of anyone bushwalking in elevated areas.”

The icy weather is one of the effects of two low-pressure systems sweeping across the country this week. Heavy snow was also expected in Victoria and in regions of NSW and the ACT.

Snowman on a railing.
This snowman made an appearance in Geeveston, in southern Tasmania.(Huon Valley Tasmania: Harvest and Light Geeveston)



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Tasmania has a rare upper hand in its stand-off with the AFL — and it shouldn’t be squandered


The make-up of the AFL fixture, and in switch the destiny of the 2020 time, could lie partly in the arms of the Tasmanian Authorities and its community overall health officers.

Tasmania is looming as the subsequent port in a COVID-19 storm for the AFL, which is determined to keep away from the virus and foundation its golf equipment in states with low numbers of cases.

The AFL has scheduled North Melbourne to participate in two game titles in Tasmania in Rounds 11 and 12, from August 9.

But no matter whether or not people fixtures go in advance depends on the Government’s willingness to ease hard border restrictions, considerably less than a 7 days immediately after affirmation of its first situation of COVID-19 in 65 times.

The AFL will be perspiring on an announcement due to be built on Friday on no matter if Tasmania will increase its border closure or open its doors to people from decide on jurisdictions.

Groups of sanitisers have been roaming mainland venues as portion of coronavirus quarantine zone preparations.(Twitter: West Coast Eagles)

The states borders are shut right up until at minimum July 31, and could continue to be closed for more time.

Presently, any visitor to Tasmania should quarantine in a Governing administration-permitted resort for 14 days.

The General public Wellbeing rules for non-Tasmanian residents who have “put in time in high-danger areas” — which includes men and women who have expended time in Victoria in the 14 times prior to arriving in Tasmania — is that they will be “turned again at their own expenditure”.

Two AFL teammates celebrate a goal, one raising his finger in salute, the other smiling.
The AFL for the initial time now requirements Tasmania extra than the Apple Isle desires it.(AAP: Dave Hunt)

So much, Leading Peter Gutwein has had tiny desire to enable AFL matches to be performed in Tasmania, citing a deficiency of gain to the point out.

On Monday, Mr Gutwein stated that particular exemptions would not be granted to football golf equipment hoping to participate in game titles in Tasmania, and that even with reviews to the contrary, no agreement to host games in the condition had been made.

For most likely the 1st time, Tasmania has the whip hand in a stand-off with the Australian Football League.

With coronavirus situations in Victoria and New South Wales worsening, the AFL is rapid running out of areas to foundation its teams and the island of Tasmania provides itself as a coronavirus-totally free oasis.

Its willingness to timetable games in Tasmania — with no realizing for positive no matter if or not they are going to be capable to be performed — suggests its desperation to send teams south.

The AFL is banking on Tasmania performing it a large favour.

A Tasmanian footy hub would present the point out a small but necessary financial bump, but it will also be a substantial leg-up to a league that is desperately trying to find secure harbour — and has regularly shunned a common haven of the video game.

The AFL for the to start with time now requirements Tasmania more than the Apple Isle desires it, and Premier Gutwein mustn’t burn a golden probability to use his newly observed leverage when the time comes for the AFL to repay the favour.



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Shark grabs 10-year-old boy from fishing boat in Tasmania

A boy has suffered arm, head and chest injuries right after remaining grabbed by a shark from a boat off Tasmania’s northwest.

The 10-12 months-old was taken to medical center on Friday afternoon next the attack off the coast in close proximity to Stanley.

“The boy … was aboard a six-metre vessel on a fishing expedition about 5km from shore with his father and two other adult males when a shark grabbed him from the boat,” Ambulance Tasmania said in a assertion.

The boy’s father jumped into the drinking water and the shark swam away, the assertion explained.

At the time of the assault the boy was sporting a life jacket. He endured cuts and is described to be in a steady issue.



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NZ COVID-19 Projections Bode Well for Tasmania


How New Zealand could keep eliminating coronavirus at its border for months to come, even as the global pandemic worsens

Stringent border controls and mandatory quarantine give New Zealand a good chance to remain free of COVID-19 for months to come, according to our latest modelling.

It’s been 76 days since New Zealand’s last reported case of community transmission, and our model shows the risk of an infectious person slipping through the border undetected remains very low. Provided the rules are followed, we would expect this to happen only once over the next 18 months — and even then, this person may not infect anyone else.

New Zealand’s borders remain closed to everyone except residents, citizens and a small number of foreigners with special exemptions.

Currently about 400 people fly into New Zealand each day. Since June 16, 46 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and of those, 27 remain active cases (at the time of writing). All of them are in quarantine facilities.

Each week, about 12 people have arrived carrying the virus. Provided people are well separated at quarantine facilities and have regular symptom checks, our modelling suggests the risk of an infectious person being released into the community is around 0.1% — which means for every 1000 infected people who arrive at the border, one person will be released from quarantine while still infectious.

Keeping COVID-19 out

PM Jacinda Ardern. Image courtesy Daniel Hicks/AP

New Zealand has had a total of 1,548 cases of COVID-19 and 22 people have died.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday announced plans for local or regional lockdowns should the virus reemerge in the community. She referred to the Australian state of Victoria, where the current outbreak appears to be linked to cases at a managed isolation facility, as a cautionary tale for New Zealand.

COVID-19 is exploding outside our borders and every country that we have sought to either replicate or draw experiences from in the fight against COVID-19 has now experienced further community outbreaks. We need only look to the experience of Victoria, Hong Kong, Singapore or Korea to see examples of other places that, like us, had the virus under control at a point in time only to see it emerge again.

Since New Zealand closed its borders on March 19, the rate of COVID-19 infections globally has increased 50-fold, to more than 13 million confirmed cases worldwide.

All new arrivals to New Zealand have to spend 14 days in quarantine at government-managed hotels. Each person has to have a COVID-19 swab test on the third and 12th day of their quarantine period and cannot leave without a negative test result.

A shorter quarantine period would significantly increase the risk of an infectious person being released. The swab tests for COVID-19 have quite high rates of false negative results, so even with multiple tests, a shorter quarantine period could miss too many cases.

Allowing mingling of people within quarantine, or contact between staff and recent arrivals, is also very risky. And our model doesn’t take into account people deliberately absconding from quarantine, which has happened four times. It is incumbent on everyone to do the right thing and follow the rules.


Read more: Melbourne’s second lockdown spells death for small businesses. Here are 3 things government can do to save them


Managing international travel

How many arrivals could New Zealand cope with? Pre-COVID-19, there were around 20,000 international arrivals on a typical day — 50 times the current number of arrivals. There’s obviously no way we could quarantine this number of people. On current trends, this would mean up to 600 infected people passing through at the border per week.

Reopening borders to return to business as usual is just not an option for the foreseeable future. Any plans to ease border restrictions need to be based on a careful risk assessment. For example, countries such as Taiwan, Vietnam and the Pacific Islands have very low levels of COVID-19. A travel bubble with countries that have eliminated community transmission would present a low risk.

Other groups such as international students or migrant workers who contribute to key parts of our economy should be considered. Anyone coming from countries where COVID-19 is widespread would need to be quarantined on arrival, but quarantine facilities are already stretched to the limit with returning New Zealanders. Implementing any plan to allow other groups into New Zealand safely will take time.

New Zealand is in a rare position of having eliminated community transmission of COVID-19. This means we currently enjoy more freedoms than people in most other countries.

But this elimination status poses its own challenges in returning to life as usual when the rest of the world is in an accelerating pandemic. Other countries that have followed a mitigation strategy are facing equally big social and economic challenges of their own. And this is on top of the devastating health impacts that New Zealand has so far managed to largely avoid.

Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker

Freedom within closed borders

The dilemma New Zealand now faces is whether to continue to enjoy Level 1 freedoms within closed borders or to open borders with more restrictions on what we can do. We could, for instance, allow quarantine-free travel from certain countries. But this might require us to implement Level 2 restrictions (including limits on the size of gatherings) to reduce the risk of superspreading events.


Read more: A few superspreaders transmit the majority of coronavirus cases


These are difficult choices, but they are choices and not foregone conclusions. We disagree with the recent claim by former chief science advisor Sir Peter Gluckman, former prime minister Helen Clark and ex-Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe that new cases of community transmission are ‘logically inevitable’ and New Zealand should therefore reopen borders more quickly.

The recent surge in cases in Melbourne – where 5 million people are now in a six-week lockdown – shows that managing a community outbreak is almost impossible without resorting to strict lockdowns. They have also shown that the most socio-economically disadvantaged people often bear the brunt of lockdown measures, as well as suffering disproportionately from the health impacts of the virus.

These events should serve to remind us just how lucky we are in New Zealand. Let’s not let our guard down now.The Conversation


Michael Plank, Professor in Mathematics, University of Canterbury; Alex James, Associate professor, University of Canterbury; Audrey Lustig, Research scientist, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research; Nicholas Steyn, Research assistant; Rachelle Binny, Research scientist, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, and Shaun Hendy, Professor of Physics

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent=”no” parentcategory=”writers” show = “category” hyperlink=”yes”]



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Poet’s Corner – ‘Tasmania’ – Tasmanian Times


This poem was first published by The Tasmanian Times (no relation!) on Saturday 8 February 1868.

‘Tasmania’

By Martha

Hail Tasmania! sweet favoured Isle,
Thy shores reach round full many a mile,
‘Tis pleasant to sit at the Derwent’s side
And watch its beautiful flowing tide!
As upward I gaze to thy azure skies,
And watch the sea-bird as swiftly it flies,
My heart swells with joy at the thought I was born,
Where everywhere beauty its land doth adorn!
Then gaze on Mount Wellington’s lofty brow,
E’en now it is clad with its mantle of snow,
The green hills each side encircling it round,
At the foot there’s a stream with a musical sound!
Oh! could you wonder that I should admire
A land where there’s all a heart can desire,
A land of freedom, of health, and of peace,
Never on it may God’s blessing cease.

‘Tasmania’. The Tasmanian Times (Hobart Town, Tas. : 1867 – 1870), 8 February 1868, page 3. Retrieved 15 June 2020 from https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/232858015.

*   *   *   *

Poet’s Corner is a quaint and quirky section of The Tasmanian Times. It has been designed to offer a haven to those who relish and immerse themselves in the sheer joy and pleasure emanating from English verse. Our idea is to share poems published in Tasmania during the early years of British arrival.

We would also like you to share your poetry with us. Submissions can be sent to arts@tasmaniantimes.com. Please see www.tasmaniantimes.com/contact for general submission guidelines.

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent=”no” parentcategory=”writers” show = “category” hyperlink=”yes”]



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Victorian traveller in quarantine hotel after flying to Tasmania without exemption


A Victorian traveller is spending the night in a quarantine hotel, after flying to Tasmania without an exemption.

Yesterday, the Tasmanian Government announced Victorians would be barred from entering the island state unless they were able to meet strict exemption criteria.

According to a police spokesperson, just one person flew into Tasmania from Victoria without an exemption today.

They were tonight being housed in a quarantine hotel and were due to be returned to Melbourne “on the next available flight”.

For many Victorians who are ex-Tasmanians, Wednesday’s border announcement was heart-wrenching.

James Dare lives in Geelong, but his family is still in Tasmania.

“I’ve been holding out for months to have border restrictions eased down in Tassie so I can get home to see my dad and also my little daughter who’s down home [in Tasmania] as well,” he said.

James Dare lives in Geelong. His daughter Hannah and father Jerry are both in Tasmania.(Supplied: James Dare)

For Mr Dare, who moved to Geelong about two years ago, the announcement was “a hard pill to swallow” as his father is living with motor neurone disease (MND).

“He’s either in his wheelchair or he’s bed-bound. He has his carers in every day to sort of assist him with his day-to-day living,” Mr Dare said.

The last time he saw his father Jerry and daughter Hannah was in January.

In May, he missed Hannah’s 10th birthday, unable to return home due to COVID-19 travel restrictions

He said he understood why the stricter border restrictions were put in place, but that it did not make it any easier.

“I was talking to her [Hannah] the other day and it was a pretty teary moment when I told her that I missed her very much, and she told me that she missed me just as much.”

Jerry Dare.
Jerry Dare was diagnosed with motor neurone disease shortly after his son James moved to Geelong.(ABC News: Peter Curtis)

He said he was also worried his father’s condition may deteriorate further.

“It’s a beast of a disease, MND. It doesn’t follow any pattern, nor does it follow any rules,” he said.

“Worst case scenario is that I might not get to see dad alive again.

“Absolutely worst case, but I’m still very positive that I will get down shortly.”

Mr Dare’s father said he believed the situation was harder for his son.

“It is what it is. There’s nothing anybody can do about it, but I think there should be some exemptions for people like us,” Jerry Dare said.

“Because I’ve got MND it just changes [quickly].

“James hasn’t seen me since January, and it has progressed and that’s hard for him not knowing what’s going on.

“You’re here one day and then gone the next with this disease. It’s cruel.”

Premier ‘sorry’ for ‘difficult circumstances’

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein announced today that he would be extending the state of emergency until the end of August.

“Tasmania does not have an emergency at the moment. But what we have is the risk of one based on what is occurring in Victoria,” he said.

He’s also set to make an announcement about Tasmania’s border restrictions on Friday, but travel between Victoria and Tasmania has already been taken off the table.

Even Tasmanian residents who have recently spent time in Victoria will need to quarantine in a hotel.

As for the Tassie expats living in Victoria, desperate to return, Mr Gutwein said he sympathised with their plight, but was standing by the public health advice.

“I’m aware of some very difficult circumstances and I’m sorry that we’ve put people into those circumstances but we’ve taken the steps that we’ve had to, to keep our state safe,” he said today.

Skype ‘not the same thing’

For Geelong resident Amanda Dent, the worst has already happened.

Her nan passed away in May, and while her parents were able to prove their Tasmanian residency, Ms Dent was unable to get down for the funeral —she could not afford to spend two weeks quarantined in a hotel.

Amanda held by her grandmother.
Amanda Dent (pictured as a baby) is devastated about losing her nan, but can’t wait to hug her pop.(Supplied: Amanda Dent)

Life for Ms Dent is relatively normal in Geelong, and until yesterday she was hopeful she would see her family soon.

“It was really hard to know that you don’t know when you’re going to get that opportunity to see your family.

“People will say ‘oh you can call and you can Skype’ but honestly it’s not the same as having that physical interaction with your family, especially when you’ve lost someone so close to you.”

While it’s too late too see her nan, Ms Dent said she wanted to make sure she could spend some quality time with her pop.

“He thinks he hasn’t got much time and I know he’s not coping very well through all of this, and something I really want to do is just hug him,” she said.

She does not know when she will get back to Tasmania, but when she does, she knows exactly what she’ll be doing.

“Go see my pop and my aunty and hug them. Probably cry,” she said.

“See my brother — he’s about to have his first child and I don’t know if I’ll be there for that. So there’s a lot of things down there to look forward to.”



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Calls for Tasmania to keep border closed to Victoria amid coronavirus crisis


For many Tasmanians life has largely returned to normal, but on the other side of Bass Strait it’s a different story.

As cases in Victoria continue to climb and metro Melbourne returns to lockdown, there are calls for Tasmania to exclude Victoria when the island state finally eases its border restrictions on July 24.

“They should stay closed for a little bit longer,” Tasmanian resident Simon Lyons said.

“It’s going to get worse in Victoria and it feels like it would be the wrong thing to do to open up.

“Even though it’s school holidays and everyone’s ready to move around, travel and that sort of thing. It should just stay closed for a little bit longer.”

But Simon is open to seeing direct flights to states other than Victoria, and he’s not alone.

Cathy Robustelli is predicting Tasmanians will make a “mass exodus” to Queensland to seek the sun.(ABC News: Lucy Macdonald)

Cathy Robustelli, who runs a food catering business in Hobart, said she was looking forward to the borders reopening.

“Fantastic! Yes, we need it. Especially here in Tasmania,” she said.

“There’s going to be a mass exodus to Queensland shortly so we can get some warm weather.”

However like Mr Lyons, Ms Robustelli said there was one state Tasmania should not open its borders to.

“There’s no way anyone should be going to Victoria or coming here from Victoria,” she said.

A woman smiles in a cafe as she stands behind a counter
Cafe owner Megan Spillane says she’s missing the tourists but has had plenty of community support.(ABC News: Lucy Macdonald)

Cafe owner Megan Spillane said she felt the same way, despite a particularly hard few months.

“It was tough and sad, but it was what it was. It’s really nice to be back [open]. We definitely missed it,” she said

Ms Spillane’s business, the Lost Freight Cafe, is based at the Springs on kunanyi/Mt Wellington.

A shipping container cafe nestled in the wilderness
The Lost Freight Cafe is popular with visitors to Hobart’s kunanyi/Mount Wellington.(ABC News: Lucy Macdonald)

With access to the mountain closed for a few months, she was forced to shut shop. Now she’s reopened but the tourists are yet to return.

“Locals have been awesome. We opened for weekends just to begin with and it was pumping. I think everyone was just keen to get out and about,” she said.

“The [disappearing] tarn definitely helped us over the last couple of weeks. School holidays are here so hopefully it picks up for us, but we’re definitely missing the tourists.”

While she’s not keen to see the borders opened to Victoria, Ms Spillane said tourists made up about 80 per cent of her trade and she was hanging out for July 24.

‘Difficult’ to open borders to Victoria

The question of how Tasmania will react to the Victorian crisis has been one the State Government has been grappling with ever since it put a date on easing its border restrictions.

Premier Peter Gutwein has ordered a review of the situation and what it might mean for Tasmania, which will be released on Friday.

But it’s not looking good for Tasmania’s closest neighbour.

The state had a record 191 new cases today and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has reintroduced stay-at-home orders for Melbourne metro and the shire of Mitchell from midnight tomorrow.

Last weekend, Mr Gutwein admitted it would be “very difficult to lower our borders” to Victoria at this current time.

Speaking to the media today, Attorney-General Elise Archer said the Government was “watching what is happening in other jurisdictions very closely”.

“The Premier will or intends to make further announcements as things progress, but what we must do is ensure the safety of all Tasmanians,” she said.

“Taking public health advice has stood us in good stead to get us through COVID so far.

“What we want to do is ensure that Tasmania remains safe.”

Opposition Leader Rebecca White said the Government should require essential travellers coming into Tasmania to undergo a COVID-19 test.

“At the moment somebody travelling into the state who is an essential worker with an exemption can travel around Tasmania,” she said.

“They don’t have to have a coronavirus test, they don’t even have to have their temperature taken on arrival.

“There’s obviously growing concern about what’s happening in Victoria now and we don’t want to see that occur here.”



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