REAL AUSTRALIA

Voice of Real Australia: International borders and Kangaroo Island

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ADELAIDE FLIGHT: Passengers depart Kingscote, Kangaroo Island on a Wednesday flight to Adelaide on the Qantas Q400 flight. There are now double flights on Mondays and Fridays. Photo: Stan Gorton

ADELAIDE FLIGHT: Passengers depart Kingscote, Kangaroo Island on a Wednesday flight to Adelaide on the Qantas Q400 flight. There are now double flights on Mondays and Fridays. Photo: Stan Gorton

I often think of Kangaroo Island as a mini Australia. Even more so now.

Both this island and the mainland are now rocks out on the ocean, isolated from the world.

While that isolation is what makes life special on Kangaroo Island, located off the coast of South Australia, the international border closures are wearing thin on some, both here and the bigger rock to our north.

Many are frustrated with the federal and state governments' apparent inability to roll out the vaccine program.

Hence why we need to remain shut off from the world. No vaccine, no travel in and out of Australia.

We reported this week that Qantas has increased its schedule between Adelaide and Kangaroo Island and that Rex will continue to fly to KI because of federal government subsidies.

But is there anyone on these planes? There certainly are not any international tourists, which historically made up 50 per cent of our visitors, and domestic travellers generally drive themselves.

The federal government and Tourism Australia meanwhile are banking on increased domestic travel to keep tourist operations viable.

But modelling by the McKell Institute suggests border closures made necessary by delays to Australia's vaccine rollout will cost the economy $16.4 billion.

And those delays are very real on Kangaroo Island.

The AstraZeneca vaccine in the refrigerated cabinet when it first arrived in Murray Bridge in South Australia. Photo: Dani Brown

The AstraZeneca vaccine in the refrigerated cabinet when it first arrived in Murray Bridge in South Australia. Photo: Dani Brown

While our elderly and frontline health and emergency workers have received their first dose, no word yet on when the rest of us get safeguarded.

"I appreciate that rolling out COVID-19 vaccinations across the state is a complex and challenging logistical exercise but it's been five months since I first raised this issue and now I find out that SA Health is still 'developing' a plan. It's not good enough," she said.

The pandemic meanwhile picks up pace in places like the Indian subcontinent, which is not that far away, even from Kangaroo Island.

We recently reported on a couple of local Kangaroo Island hotel and cafe owners Mintu and Mandeep, originally from India, who have lost relatives and friends.

It's actually a small world, so let's hope we can get all vaccinated soon.

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This story We're rocks out on the ocean, isolated from the COVID world first appeared on The Islander.