Wagga real estate agents say buyers from COVID hotspots who are allowed to visit the city under a lockdown loophole that lists property inspections as an exemption to stay-at-home orders are leaving the region exposed.
After a Sydney man spread coronavirus to Byron Bay while visiting for an allowed property inspection, Wagga agents and the city's MP want the loophole closed.
"I'm so appalled at that guy's behaviour and that could easily happen here," said Fitzpatricks' Paul Gooden. "Wagga could be Byron Bay, just by a different name."
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Macarthur Real Estate's Dave Skow agreed the city is at risk of exposure. "I think Wagga people have a genuine reason to be concerned," he said, adding he suspects buyers are continuing to visit Wagga for inspections.
Mr Skow said while "95 per cent" of metro buyers are willing to inspect virtually, he has had to refuse in-person inspections to two separate hotspot buyers so far and has no real control over any trip to Wagga.
"Whether they came [to Wagga] or not, I'm not sure," he said. "I suspect they probably did anyway."
Both agents agreed the situation puts real estate agents in the awkward position of making public health decisions and should be amended.
"It would be much more palatable for us to say the rule is that you can't come as opposed to us saying we're not comfortable, or the owner is not comfortable if you come," Mr Skow said.
Mr Gooden doesn't offer inspections to buyers from hotspots and said: "If they put in a complaint I would wear it, that's how I feel."
Mr Skow said metro buyers inspecting regional properties was "something that the Premier needs to quash and say that's not an acceptable reason for travelling."
Wagga MP Joe McGirr agreed with the agents and said he has raised the matter directly with Health Minister Brad Hazzard.
"Stopping the further spread of COVID-19 into regional areas must be a priority," Dr McGirr said.
"How hard is this to understand? This virus only travels when people travel. Don't come to have a driving test, to get your hair done, to inspect property or use any other crazy loopholes people are dreaming up."
Mr Hazzard declined to answer specific questions, but told a press conference on Tuesday he would not commit to closing the loophole but would look at tightening it. He said he couldn't legislate against "arrogance, stupidity and entitlement".
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