L 'ombudsman de l ' victorian era will investigate urgentlynce on the state travel permit regime after receiving more than 80 complaints, including that failure to provide exemptions had effectively left some people homeless.
Ombudsman Deborah Glass said most of the complaints were about Victorians trying to return to the state after the with New South Wales was closed on July 9.
Glass said complaints about the system have come from people, including children wishing to return home to be with their parents after their NSW school closed, a mother wishing to return home to care for her adult daughter after being allowed to leave Victoria to attend a funeral, and a woman wishing to return to her farm to take care of his animals.
Some individual cases had been raised withof the Department of Health and several were resolved, Glass said, but complaints continued, raising possible systemic issues with the decision of the -making department.
"The situation is more and more urgent with the extended lockdown " said Glass.
"Some people tell my office they face real homelessness, stuck between states with nowhere to go. Cases that have come to my office have raised concerns about the exercise of discretione under the relevant public ic health directions. "
Glass hopes to complete " the prompt investigation "by the end of the year, so she can help the department identify if urgent improvements are needed.
Among those who have been denied permits is Allan Meers who lives near Ballarat in central Victoria. Meers left her home about two months ago to visit a terminally ill friend in Lismore, North New South Wales.
He twice requested to return and his request was denied each time, although the Lismore local government area did not record a positive case of Covid-19 in the over the past four weeks.
Meers filed a complaint with Glass's office on Wednesday after hearing about it is investigating and urging the Victorian government to bring in implement a plan forget its residents home before Christmas.
"The Victorian government is currently classifying all of New South Wales as an extreme red zone. This is a convenient lie, "Meers said.
" This allows the government to stop all travel to and from NSW. The inconvenient truth is that many postcodes in NSW are Covid-free. The New South Wales government recently freed the northern region of the state from all lockdown restrictions - so why hasn't the Victorian government done the same? "
Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said it was the bureaucrats and not the government that made travel permits and that it was a "very difficult "because they often told people news they didn't want to hear.
But he hinted that more would be done to bring back residents of NSW, although it would be difficult to accept people from high-risk areas of the state like southwest Sydney.
"The civil servant teams making these decisions take their responsibilities very seriously, they are all doing their best, we are bringing people back from NSW and will be doing so soon more positive announcements on this, "said Andrews. " We will be bringing everyone home. "
Glass will examine if the Department of Health's exercise of discretion over decisions on interstate travel permits, exceptions and exemptions has been properly balanced against those affected. rights considerations.
"Decisions about permits will invariably involve a balance between individual rights.uels and those of the community at large. But it will be important to ensure that the balance has been assessed fairly, ”she said.