NSW tourist towns overrun with "hundreds" of Victorians
The Minindee Regional Tourist Association has closed its information centre as there is concern within the community about travelling Victorians and COVID-19.
Chairman Rob Gregory said "hundreds" of Victorians had been in the town in the last several weeks, and some long-term residents said they had never seen it so busy.
"In the main street I can't even get my designated parking spot," Mr Gregory, who is also an electrician, said.
"It's certainly been hectic. I've been doing some work in the local supermarket just the last couple of days, and a lot of people in there and out getting their supplies."
Many Menindee residents were ready to welcome back tourists after a few tough years for the town, but the outbreak in Victoria and the threat it could spread interstate has made residents anxious.
Mr Gregory said that there was a 50-50 split in the community between those who wanted travellers to visit and those who wanted them to leave.
"We decided to close the Tourist Information Centre because of that angst," he said.
"We've got older members that volunteer in there, and they decided they didn't want to put themselves at risk and others at risk."
The owner of the cafe at Pooncarie, south of Minindee had to close business on Friday as she ran out of supplies.
Barbara Ellis said that most of the visitors were from Victoria and appeared to be in no rush to return back home.
"We thought it would've dropped off almost instantly, but it hasn't," Ms Ellis said.
"I think the ones that are going back home are the ones that actually have commitments back home, like they need to get children back to school or whatever.
"Our business is basically entirely grey nomads and travellers."
Wilcannia Local Aboriginal Land Council chief executive Jenny Thwaites expressed frustration over the surge of visitors who were ignoring signs erected by the community, requesting them not to stop in the town.
"People are going to (have to) stop to get fuel and to go to the toilet, and maybe go into the roadhouse and get something to eat," Ms Thwaites said.
"That's accepted, but surely they don't have to go and picnic in a park when it's quite clear that we're asking them not to do it."
Photo credits: Visit NSW
This article originally appeared on Over60.