THE latest Victorian budget hearings have exposed Labor’s involvement in the cross border roundtable in Wodonga this week as little more than a media stunt.

Earlier this week Minister for Trade & Investment Philip Dalidakis said his government was committed to removing the duplication and red tape that is costing our businesses and tradies millions of dollars each year.

But the Parliamentary Accounts and Estimates Committee has since heard that a cross-border commissioner promised by Labor 12 months ago is yet to be appointed, an office location yet to be decided and that there was no funding beyond next year.

Member for Benambra Bill Tilley labelled Monday’s event as a sham.

“They trotted out a piece of paper, called it the start of breaking down the barriers and it turned out to be a communique – a trumped up press release,” he said.

“Victoria needs to get a wriggle on, sign a Memorandum of Understanding with NSW and South Australia and get on with it.

“NSW has already signed an MOU with Queensland and the ACT – it is a cut and paste job for Victoria.”

A Liberal Nationals Government, if elected later this year, has promised $4 million over four years for a Cross Border commissioner.

Mr Tilley said the legislation solution could be simple.

“At present when a new piece of legislation or an amendment comes before the Parliament there is a statement of compatability, looking at human rights issues,” he said.

“Why couldn’t another statement assess the impacts on Border communities, take into account what is happening in neighbouring states.

“Whether you are talking P-plate driving age, real estate training or the unionisation of engineers contained in the bill before the Parliament this week, this Labor Government continues to turn a blind eye to the impact of its laws on Border communities.”


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