Empty words from the Andrews Labor Government aren’t enough to fix the challenges facing Victoria’s cross-border communities.

While we all understand the critical need to stop the spread of this deadly virus, the closures have forced families apart, cut countless workers off from their workplace and stopped the flow of goods and services.

Further restrictions to the border zone on the New South Wales-Victoria border came into effect on Tuesday night, but it’s taken until today for Regional Development Minister Jaclyn Symes to acknowledge the problems.

Today’s statement from the Minister makes it clear the Andrews Labor Government has failed to make any progress in the five days since the tighter restrictions on the NSW border were announced.

The requirement for NSW residents to self-isolate when they return from Victorian communities outside the border zone is hammering the workforce of our hospitals.

Border closures have also hamstrung the movement of the seasonal labour workforce and our farmers’ ability to get their produce harvested on time.

While most of regional Victoria has avoided the current city lockdown, we’re still being smashed by the Andrews Labor Government’s failure to manage outbreaks in Melbourne.

Cross-border communities rely on each other to survive.

As a Labor representative for Northern Victoria, the Minister should understand the desperate need to find a solution.