Still work to do on border rules

Sep 22, 2020 | News


Changes to border restrictions which allow more people to cross the border for any reason have been welcomed, but NSW Nationals Senator Perin Davey says there are still issues that need to be resolved.

Senator Davey said the changes only address movement within the border zone.

She said outside that zone are still some who will struggle to work.

‘‘Agriculture contractors and livestock technicians cover areas far beyond the border blue zone but are still limited to only operating within 100km of the border in New South Wales,’’ she said.

‘‘That means a dairy technician from Victoria still can’t service clients in Wagga without going through the cumbersome and time-consuming process of applying for an exemption, with no guarantee of success.

‘‘The impact these border closures have had on regional communities and the industries that underpin our economy is significant. That is why my colleagues and I stand united in our calls for common sense.

‘‘I am so pleased that some common sense has prevailed for border communities so they can go about their daily life.

‘‘I hope we see more common sense to address agriculture, and then we want to see a nationally consistent approach.’’

Senator Davey said one win announced during Friday’s National Cabinet meeting is that boarding school students would be allowed to return home without all the red tape.

With Victorian school holidays starting the same day, and NSW holidays starting after this week, she asked that the decision be expedited.

‘‘We need to provide boarding school students and their families with certainty during a time where so much is uncertain,’’ she said.

‘‘This has been an incredibly stressful time for rural and regional students, I hope the announcement brings them a degree of hope of what’s to come.’’