The Victorian Government will continue to support local communities and businesses following the New South Wales Government’s decision to enforce a new border zone between the states.
Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes will work with ministerial colleagues to coordinate the Victorian Government’s response on behalf of the communities and businesses whose lives rely on border access to work and access vital services.
The Government is working to solve issues associated with the strict new border conditions. The new border zone, which came into effect at midnight Wednesday, tightens border restrictions already in place and means people will only be able move into or return from NSW for essential work, health and education reasons only.
Victoria’s Cross Border Commissioner will continue to work closely with local Victorian border councils, and with industry and community groups, to advise the Victorian Government on the challenges they face.
Several border communities and towns within Victorian and NSW rely on border access for schools, work, health services and to go about daily life.
Since the border zone was announced on Sunday, individuals, businesses and community groups have raised many examples of potential issues in relation to exemptions and permits that need clarification.
The coordination role across all levels of government will include advocacy on behalf of affected Victorian communities, businesses and industries to ensure swift action to clarify confusion and seek to reduce problems that arise from the border zone and its enforcement.
The NSW Government has provided assurances that permits or exemptions will continue to be available for emergency services, medical or hospital care, freight and commercial workers and agriculture, mining, construction, energy and manufacturing workers.
No permit or approval is required to enter Victoria from another state, and enforcement of the NSW border remains a matter for NSW police.
Information about permits and provisions for residents of NSW border regions under the new border conditions is available on the Service NSW website or via their information line on 13 77 88.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes
“We know this is a tough time for border communities and we’ll do everything we can to support them.”
“We accept the decisions of the NSW Government to protect their residents’ health but it’s important to reduce the impact on communities who’ve built their lives across the border.”