Travellers treated “like lepers” amid more border closures
This time last year, Gracemere's Chloe Kraeft and her family stopped on her father's farm outside Shepparton in Victoria on their way to the Snowy Mountains.
"My Mum and her partner; my Dad and his wife; and my aunts and uncles all live within two hours of Melbourne, while my sister lives right in the middle of the city," said the mother of three.
"We probably made the trip down there to visit them four times last year, and planned to go again in June."
But as COVID-19 case numbers spike again in Victoria in the past three days, with 127 new cases overnight, Queensland and New South Wales Premiers have closed borders again to Victoria alone.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews followed suit today and closed borders between New South Wales and Victoria, which he described as a "smart call".
But for Victorians such as Chloe living interstate, it feels as if walls have gone up between her and her family.
And it's a triple whammy for the woman who lives with an auto-immune disorder and whose in-laws live overseas.
"My husband had a close relative pass away in Germany and he couldn't attend the funeral," she said.
"And he was planning to go home for his birthday next year but that may not happen."
Ms Kraeft intended to travel to Nimbin for yoga training before the border closures were announced, but sensed the public's growing fear could prove dangerous for her and her children.
"People behave strangely when they're afraid," she said.
"Just look at the hoarding starting up in Melbourne; my sister can't find a roll of toilet paper anywhere.
"I was petrified about what would happen if I went over the boarder with Queensland licence plates and people started smashing our windscreens or something."
The Morning Bulletin reported last month that travellers in mobile homes were being shunned from stopping in towns in Queensland's Frazer Coast, for example.
Ms Kraeft said it's upsetting that people online are treating Victorians like lepers.
"My family are upset they don't just close down Melbourne and let some of the regional centres open up," she said.
"They feel like they're being punished although they're the ones who have been the right thing when it comes to social distancing."