Skip to main content

Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association

CATTLEMEN SLAM LUDICROUS NEW COVID RULES

You are here

News

The Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association (NTCA) is slamming the NT Government for the mess it created by the sudden announcement of new severe Covid restrictions.

“For nearly two years Territorians have tried to comply with everything the Government has thrown at us,” NTCA CEO Will Evans said. “Everchanging goal posts have made life difficult for all of us but now our pastoralists – who live and work in some of the most remote regions of the NT – are once again copping the brunt of yet another new set of rule changes.”

Measures announced this week will force all vaccinated arrivals to the Northern Territory to stay within the high-vaccination zones of Alice Springs, Katherine and Greater Darwin for 14 days from December 20.

"We understand the need to keep vulnerable Territorians safe but the ludicrous new Covid restrictions have thrown the Territory into chaos. The NT Government needs to fix this mess immediately,” Mr Evans said.

“The new rules are tearing Territory families apart for Christmas. Instead of hugging their loved ones under the Christmas tree, boarding school students will be stuck hundreds of kilometres away from their families,” Mr Evans said.

“Station workers will be unable to go interstate and come back without being forced to stay in a major centre. Interstate governesses and remote schoolroom teachers will be isolating in a city instead of teaching their students.

“Under these rules, while the Chief Minister and members of parliament are enjoying Christmas with their families, our hard-working, vaccinated pastoralists won’t be.

“Twenty-four hours before these rules were handed down, Ministers of this Government looked pastoralists in the eye and listened to their stories of how difficult regulations had been on families in remote parts of the NT and pretended to care. The very next day the Government delivered a cruel backhander to the pastoral industry.

“NT pastoralists are sick of this Government’s empty promises. Territory families deserve better.

“Nearly two years ago the NT Government recognised the importance of the work our pastoralists are doing. Nearly two years ago the NT Government also recognised just how remote and isolated our cattle stations are and allowed station staff to quarantine on their property.

“Two years on and the wheels have fallen off. The Government is forcing those living and in the bush into two weeks of non-productive time in an urban centre, every time they have to leave the NT.

“As an industry we have gone above and beyond to meet all Government regulations. Now the Government needs to stop being the Grinch and save Christmas for our pastoralists. Our industry has proved that we can abide by the rules and quarantine at home safely. The NT Government needs to allow pastoralists to go home.”

Sarah Cook, State President of the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association who represents education in the bush, said remote Territory families were left shaken and heartbroken.

“For Territory families who live, work and educate their children in the bush, this decision is particularly devastating.  It will disrupt and create additional costs for accessing home tutors, who are essential in the delivery of distance education for remote primary students; and create anguish for secondary students who attend boarding school interstate.

“It is particularly distressing for parents preparing to take their children to boarding school for the very first time, faced now with the very real prospect of having to send them alone. These parents are crushed by the thought of it,” Mrs Cook said.

“Our remote families and our remote industries have respected and met all Government expectations.  We call on the Territory Government to show some respect to our situation and our commitment to adhering to home quarantine requirements.”

 

ENDS.

NTCA Twitter