The Victorian Government said today it will continue to support local communities and businesses following the NSW Government’s decision to enforce a new border zone between the states.
Minister for Regional Development, Jaclyn Symes said she will work with her ministerial colleagues to coordinate the Victorian Government’s response on behalf of those whose lives rely on NSW border access to work and access vital services.
“We know this is a tough time for border communities and we’ll do everything we can to support them,” said Ms Symes.
She said the Victorian Government was currently 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.
“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.”
She said 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.
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 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,” said Ms Symes.
She said no permit or approval was required to enter Victoria from another state, and enforcement of the NSW border remained 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.