Cherbourg Mayor Arnold Murray

March 26, 2020

Cherbourg residents have been warned that new travel restrictions mean they may not be allowed back into the community if they leave.

In a video to residents, Mayor Arnold Murray said new restrictions meant residents could no longer travel outside Cherbourg to shop or go to work.

The new movement restrictions start at midnight tonight (Thursday).

A temporary shop would be opened in the community to allow residents to purchase items.

“We must protect everyone from this virus, particularly our Elders and people who are already sick,” Mayor Murray said.

“Travel will only be allowed for seriously important reasons such as urgent medical matters.

“You will no longer be able to leave the community to go shopping or for work.

“To help the community, a temporary store will be established in Cherbourg so food and other important items will be available.

“All medications that you would usually get from the pharmacy in Murgon or elsewhere will now be available from the Cherbourg Hospital.

“Access to mail and essential services will be maintained.

“COVID-19 is the biggest threat to our community in its history.

“We understand that these travel restrictions are inconvenient for everyone, however, we need to do this to protect our people.”

* * *

UPDATE from Cherbourg Council, noon March 27:

“All school movement (buses, teachers, ancillary staff, and parents doing school drop off and pick-up) will not be impeded by the checkpoint March 27.

“Cherbourg residents can go shopping in Murgon until further notice.

“You will not be impeded at the checkpoint if need to travel to Murgon to shop for essential items.

“This will remain in effect until after resupply arrangements are up and running here in Cherbourg and a regular distribution cycle has commenced.”

* * *

Cherbourg Council CEO Chatur Zala

March 30, 2020 – UPDATE from Cherbourg Council:

Restricted movement will start in Cherbourg from midnight tonight, March 30.

“Please understand this is not to keep people in – it’s to keep the virus out,” CEO Chatur Zala said.

“It is for the safety of our Cherbourg community, especially our older and more vulnerable community members, including elders and babies.

“The restrictions also meet the requirements of The Australian Government’s travel restrictions to Queensland’s remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, including Cherbourg, that came into place from Thursday. March 26.

“Cherbourg needed more time to prepare, so we delayed these restrictions until today so that we could get this right to make it work for Cherbourg, including being able to have extra supplies available, such as food and medications.

“The checkpoint established at Cherbourg-Murgon Road will be manned 24 hours a day. Queensland Health and Council will be at the checkpoint with Queensland Health staff to provide screening.

“Only essential service people will be able to enter Cherbourg so that they can keep delivering important services such as healthcare, energy, police, teachers and emergency services. We are making sure that all the necessary medical services and supplies for Cherbourg will be maintained.

“If you leave the community, you will not be allowed in unless you have an exemption from the Human Biosecurity Officer or have self-isolated for 14 days. So please stay safe by staying at home.

“Because our community cannot leave Cherbourg, there will be extra supplies brought in to Cherbourg. These will be available for sale at normal Murgon prices at Lena’s store, as well as a temporary store set up by Murgon Fruit Mart, next to Lena.

“Together they will provide the necessary groceries including meat, eggs, milk, cigarettes, baby food etc. There is no need for you to buy extra stock of groceries. There will be an update tomorrow on the hours they will be operating.

“Medicines will be ordered through the Murgon Pharmacy as normal and, if needed, an account can be set up. The medicines will then be delivered to the Cherbourg Hospital. The actual point for community to pick up medicines will be advised over the next day or so.

“Access to mail and essential services will be maintained.

“We will get daily reports to you through 94.1FM and Council’s website and Facebook, so that you know what is happening.

“The Local Disaster Management Group including Council, is working together to make sure we meet the needs of the community. Some things may change over time as we learn and uncover new issues, so please be patient and flexible. This is a new thing for all of us.

“Let’s make Cherbourg the safest community it can be. Cherbourg can be an example of how we can all work together in times of need.”

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