NSW Nationals Senator Perin Davey has welcomed new border restriction changes, allowing border communities to start returning to a sense of normality, but Senator Davey said there are still issues that need to be resolved.
Senator Davey said the changes only address movement within the border zone but outside that area there are still some who will struggle to work or get home from boarding school.
“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 NSW,” Senator Davey 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.
“We also have the issue for NSW students who study in Victoria. They still don’t know how they will be treated come the end of term four if their school or university is outside the blue zone.
“As it currently stands, they will be required to fly into Sydney and many families don’t want to take that risk.
“This is not an education issue. This is a health issue – we are talking about the mental health of our future.
“We need to make sure we can enable all regional and remote boarding school students to get home for holidays and back to school again next term.
“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.”
“The Nationals will continue to keep fighting for our regional and rural communities who have borne the brunt of these border closures and have had their lives turned upside down by city-centric restrictions.
“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 students and then we want to see a nationally consistent approach,” Senator Davey said.