Families and businesses on the Victoria-New South Wales border are crying out for a solution to strict border closures that are causing chaos and confusion and making it impossible to go about daily life.
Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh said constant changes to the NSW Government’s permit system aren’t workable for farmers, families and businesses that rely on their cross-border counterparts for access to essential goods and services.
Mr Walsh called on NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to immediately solve the problems.
“As a border community resident, I understand all too well the enormous impact these closures are having on our daily lives. The NSW Premier has the power to fix it,” Mr Walsh said.
“The closure has locked our hard-working farmers from accessing their properties, hamstrung the movement of the food supply chain and blocked our kids from getting to school.
“Border communities either side of the river rely on freedom of movement to provide employment opportunities, education, health care and access to other essential goods and services.
“We can’t afford any more band aid fixes and we can’t afford to wait weeks for Sydney-based bureaucrats to decide our future.
“The NSW Government must urgently find a solution to these border closures that allows farmers to get over the river to tend to livestock and crops and makes it possible for border families and businesses to go about daily life.
“I will be meeting NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro at the NSW-Vic border at noon today to discuss these issues directly.
“There’s little to no active coronavirus cases in most communities along the Victoria-NSW border, yet we’re paying the price for Daniel Andrews’ incompetence.”
Mr Walsh said the problems must be resolved immediately.
“We’ve reached a temporary fix for the movement of seasonal farm workers but far more needs to be done for our horticulture sector to have confidence it’ll be able to secure the workforce it needs to get the fruit off the trees,” Mr Walsh said.
“Similarly, harvest contractors will need to be able to move freely to access properties for the busy grain harvest period.
“Expanding the postcodes in the defined ‘border region’ and making sure the special permits allow us to go about daily life are critical measures that must be considered to take the pressure off of families and businesses.”
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