Karen and Mike Malherbe will move to Western Australia (WA) next month to reunite with their families for the first time in three years. But meeting their first grandchild and welcoming their second grandson now seems to be on hold for the foreseeable future.
The couple had already sold their home in Illawarra, New South Wales (NSW) and bought a new home near Busselton, Western Australia.
However, the pair was shattered after the Western Australian Government announced on Thursday that it had turned over to reopen the border on February 5, and promised not to do so.
“Even though we have a family in Washington and own real estate, we are homeless and purposeless,” Marhelve told AAP.
Malherbes needs to leave home within a week, but it’s not yet known when he can move to WA’s new home.
“I really don’t understand why we are basically banned from entering our country,” Marhelve added. “I was so angry that I couldn’t sleep all night. I’m still on the verge of tears.”
They are not alone. With no new reopening date set for Western Australia, thousands of people away from loved ones are left in limbo and Western Australia faces an indefinite trap in themselves. did.
Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan said last monthUnexpected emergency,The emergence of more dangerous strains and the perception that Omicron is more serious than expected may delay the reopening date.
This week he claimed that his position hadn’t changed, but that the opening was “reckless and irresponsible” as the Omicron incidents increased, yet could “ravages” many industries. Insisted WA There are 82 active cases.
“We have been contacted by many people who are very pleased with the announcement we made … because it gives them the opportunity to be vaccinated,” he said on Friday.
The prime minister said he hopes the state’s double vaccination rate will reach 90% before easing border control. As of January 22 89.2%..
Given the booster effect, Marhelb believed it to be a “mystery.”
“We made plans based on the Prime Minister’s previous promises, but now we are facing a very uncertain near future,” Marhelve said. “We are not looking at anything [our grandchild’s] Milestones, conversations, walking, and we have never even hugged him. “
She claimed the cost of hard border control, even though the vaccination rate was too high.
“We have to take a van and head south and west and expect the best,” she said.
A state government spokesperson did not confirm whether the couple was eligible for travel exemption, the AAP reported.
Tax exemptions are only granted to returning Western Australians, a small number of authorized travelers such as parliamentarians, and those who enter the border for compassionate reasons to see funerals and dying relatives. Travelers need to be double vaccinated and face 14 days of quarantine.
“The direction of the new border setting needs to be tailored to the new border arrangements and will be completed shortly,” a spokesman’s statement said.
Same day, flight center announcement Qantas said it would cancel thousands of domestic flights to Perth by the end of April, while considering a constitutional objection to WA’s border closure.
“The rest of the country is focused on getting over this, but WA is still playing for time, even though people are doing the right thing and being vaccinated.” Alan Joyce, Chief Executive Officer of the Qantas Group, said.
“The question is what they need to open.”
AAP contributed to this report.