Janet Goodfellow standing with some alpacas at the bed and breakfast that allowed them to take shelter when Tasmania went into lockdown. Picture: Contributed
Janet Goodfellow standing with some alpacas at the bed and breakfast that allowed them to take shelter when Tasmania went into lockdown. Picture: Contributed

Mackay ’fugitive' now stuck in Tasmania

CORONAVIRUS border lockdowns have soured a Mackay retiree's love of motorhoming by trapping her in Tasmania.

Janet Goodfellow, had journeyed solo to Tasmania from Mackay via Melbourne in October.

She was planning an April return but in mid-February, the Australia she knew began to look very different.

"I don't' normally watch TV or listen to the news much on the road - just enough to let me know there is still a world out there," Ms Goodfellow said.

"(When) I became aware of coronavirus, at first I didn't think much of it until I saw the Prime Minister give a speech two days in a row.

"He was saying that we were about to have a pandemic like no other we have seen in the past.

"He said anyone over 65 years, senior citizens were at a high risk of being infected".

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Ms Goodfellow said news quickly worsened - showing people fighting over toilet paper and warning of lockdowns.

By March, travel restrictions became a reality.

Motorhoming friends of Janet Goodfellow's shared this photo of travellers trying to cross the border out of Western Australia as lockdowns came into place. Picture: Contributed.
Motorhoming friends of Janet Goodfellow's shared this photo of travellers trying to cross the border out of Western Australia as lockdowns came into place. Picture: Contributed.

Ms Goodfellow said she was camping with a friend in northeast Tasmania when they became "fugitives" overnight on March 23.

"At 10am, a council man came around and told us that all camps were being closed, including caravan parks, and we had to move by midnight," she said.

"I asked him, 'Where can we go?'

"He said, 'I don't care as long as it's out of this area - a chain will be put up at midnight'".

People became angry, frustrated and secretive about their movements, Ms Goodfellow said, as they were forced to hide with their motorhomes behind a large shed at a nearby bed and breakfast.

 

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Ms Goodfellow said she had two choices - to leave Tasmania immediately or stay with government permission.

"It's a long way from Tasmania to Mackay," she said.

"I just thought my nerves couldn't take it.

"You couldn't stop … (you) had to keep driving until (you) got to Queensland".

This view is just a 10-minute walk from where Janet Goodfellow is currently staying in northwest Tasmania. Picture: Janet Goodfellow
This view is just a 10-minute walk from where Janet Goodfellow is currently staying in northwest Tasmania. Picture: Janet Goodfellow

She said her friend left Tasmania but police and council questioned her when she tried resting the night between Melbourne and NSW.

"(The council) asked her to move behind some trees where she would be less conspicuous," Ms Goodfellow said.

"I had made the decision to stay in Tasmania because I thought it would be safe … to date, there are now 225 cases and eight deaths," she said.

" … so here I am stuck, although I could think of worse places to be".


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