The Nationals leader Peter Walsh said the Andrews Labor Government has almost, finally, got part of the state’s COVID-19 management plan right.
To regard regional Victoria as one area and Melbourne another.
Mr Walsh said it has only taken Premier Daniel Andrews months to grasp what the Liberal Nationals have been saying, asking, demanding for weeks and weeks – that restrictions can be eased across central, western and northern Victoria, as well as large parts of Gippsland.
“But Mr Andrews – the man who has singlehandedly led Victoria top the brink of the infection abyss with his ‘I know better than everyone’ attitude – still hasn’t been able to juggle a couple of decision and announce vast areas of regional Victoria can be returned to almost zero restrictions immediately,” Mr Walsh said.
“Otherwise he would have announced a better deal for us today, not at some indeterminate time – you can’t be sure if he is just pushing us to one side as usual, or simply cannot do two things at the same time.”
Mr Walsh said NSW authorities have done a superior job from go to woah by embracing the Victorian river towns that have a shred destiny with their counterparts north of the Murray,” Mr Walsh added.
“The NSW Police announcement today that places such as Echuca-Moama are being regarded as a ‘bubble’ and residents in both towns will have easy access to both sides of the river,” he said.
NSW-Victoria borders will close at midnight, the first time they have been officially closed since 1919; and that was also for a pandemic – Spanish Influenza.
Echuca residents will only need to apply for a single exemption to be able to move in and out of both towns
That can be done on the Service NSW website, which can be accessed at www.service.nsw.gov.au
I would like to thank NSW authorities for their inclusion approach to river communities.
But their message to the rest of Victoria is crystal clear.
Victorians not living in border towns will not be able to go into NSW – however transport trucks on genuine long-haul trips, will be greenlighted.
NSW police also told us if there is a failure in the technology (such as the permit system) and your trip across the river cannot wait, you will need to explain the situation to police and they will work with you.
That would apply, for example, if you were collecting children from school or after-school activities, or going to and from work.
If you don’t have to cross the border, please don’t – it is going to be sufficiently challenging while the people in NSW work through all the exemption submissions.
NSW Police will have powers to demand explanation, turn people around and to fine them. There will be a significant fine for falsifying information to come into NSW.