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Study Reveals Cost

Study Reveals Cost

Herald Sun Study Reveals Lockdown Toll On Border Communities

The costs of ongoing lockdowns and COVID restrictions on border towns are continuing to blow out, according to a fresh report conducted by the Herald Sun.

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Data collected from April 2020 until March 2021 revealed regions such as Mildura, Swan Hill, Echuca/Moama, Cobram/Yarrawonga and Albury/Wodonga experienced a huge decline in visitors and income.

Overall, the entire Murray Region was down 3.66 million visitors (44.0%), totaling around $1.023 billion (48.0%) in lost revenue for the border regions.

The breakdown revealed Albury/Wodonga had lost the most money out of the border regions, almost $380 million, while it was also down the most in visitors, a staggering 1.1 million.

Echuca/Moama was down around 965,000 visitors, wiping $234 million from it's local economy, while the Yarrawonga and Cobram regions suffered the biggest loss in total nights spent, down 1.4 million.

Dire economic forecasts also printed in Wednesday's Herald Sun predicts it could take up to three years for the border regions to recover, with fears some areas could be left ghost towns.

The report didn't delve into the effect the last two snap lockdowns in Victoria had on border communities or the current NSW COVID outbreak.

Wodonga MP Tim Quilty slammed the Governments failure to protect border communities.

"During the last 18 months, there has not been a single case in the border bubble, except for cases that come out of Melbourne. The government continues to implement a policy of COVID theatre in the regions to appeal to Melbourne voters, pretend the situation is more dangerous than it is, take unnecessary action that appears to solve it, which impacts our region the most, then take credit for saving us."

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