Joint Statement on Border Bubble permit changes

Today’s announcement dismantling the border bubble by the Andrews Labor Government’s new permit scheme is an unnecessary, bureaucratic impost that will crush Victorian-New South Wales border communities.  

From 1pm Thursday 12 August, a permit system will replace existing licence checks for border community residents to allow border residents to travel between NSW and Victoria – even for essential, daily needs.

These additional measures come as inconsistent rules continue to separate border communities, including rules stating it is safe for cross-border residents to work all day next to each other but unsafe to get a beer together after work.

Further, Daniel Andrews has provided no support for the thousands of border community residents who do not have access to the internet, a printer or have the ability to apply for a permit themselves.

With reports of hour long delays for simple border crossings across these communities, the last thing border bubble residents need is additional red-tape putting a further handbrake on movement.

The Andrews Labor Government simply does not understand the connection of border communities, or the practical impacts that dictating these unworkable decrees have on the daily lives of affected residents and businesses.

Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition, Michael O’Brien:

“These measures just add more red-tape on communities already struggling with inconsistent and illogical rules.

“Labor needs to listen to these communities. Red-tape and dividing people won’t keep them safe.

“Daniel Andrews is treating border communities like hotspots in Sydney or Melbourne and doesn’t understand the practical impact these changes will have on the ground.

“Daniel Andrews has no plan to keep border communities open, safe and COVID free – only a plan for more bureaucratic hurdles and unnecessary rules.”

Comments attributable to Leader of The Nationals, Peter Walsh:

“Border communities have had our lives and livelihoods decimated by the Andrews Labor Government’s political border-battle with New South Wales.

“Families, business owners and community leaders the length of the border are at our wit’s end with restrictive and non-sensical border rules that have sliced our communities in two and paralysed local economies.

“Today’s decision to again enforce border permits – even for essential travel – sends us back to the dark days of waiting hours each day just to cross the river for daily needs like medical appointments, work, school, community sport and to do the shopping.

“While Daniel Andrews is arrogantly peacocking about “defending” the Vic-NSW border, Labor’s thoughtless restrictions are isolating families, businesses and communities that are just minutes apart but hundreds of kilometres from cases in locked-down Sydney and Melbourne.

“The border bubble has pushed locals to the brink.

“Instead of more red tape, the Liberals and Nationals are calling for a common sense, proportionate approach that uses rapid testing and better contact tracing to allow our communities to open up – and stay open.

“Daniel Andrews is guilty of ignoring the facts and his latest clamp down will be a death sentence for our border communities.”

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