The Health Workers Union (HWU) has some 500 members directly affected by the closure of the New South Wales and Victorian border – from Albury and Wodonga right up to Mildura.

The HWU has been working with affected health providers and the Victorian Government to ensure all health workers traveling from work and home can do so safely, quickly, and without any issues.

The logistics of providing personal exemptions to health workers rests with the NSW Government. They are responsible for the borer closure.

The HWU has called on the New South Wales Government to exercise a formal ‘blanket exemption’ for all health workers. If you work for a health provider – whether it’s an aged care facility, a pathology provider, a disability provider or a local hospital, you should be automatically waived through simply upon presentation of your work pass.

As it stands, there is an informal agreement with police, where health workers can travel to and from work and home. Anecdotally, we are aware of several members having to wait up to 90 minutes whilst police make a decision as to whether to allow health workers to pass. Thus far, no health worker has been refused access across the border.

We are working to ensure these ‘blanket exemptions’ are formalised for all health providers, meaning health workers needn’t apply for an individual exemption pass. It should be done automatically.

In the interim, health workers are still required to apply for a personal exemption pass which is valid for 14 days. Already, the site to access this crashed yesterday evening due to high levels of demand.

Health workers are at the frontline in the fight against COVID19 and should be treated with the respect they deserve. We will keep HWU members updated with respect to any developments on this issue.

If you have any questions, or experience any difficulty with respect to travelling across the border for work purposes, please call the HWU on (03) 9341 4400.

In unity,

Health Workers Union

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Level 5, 222 Kings Way, South Melbourne, Victoria 3205
Telephone: 03 9341 3300
Facsimile: 03 9341 3334
Email: info@hwu.org.au