The Member for Albury Justin Clancy and Member for Benambra Bill Tilley have called for the NSW and Victorian Premiers to look at an innovative fix to cross-border woes created by Stage 3 restrictions and problematic Border Crossing Permits.
A letter (attached below) supported and co-signed by civic, health, industry and business leaders called for a boundary around the two electorates to allow for the lifting of Stage 3 restrictions south of the Murray River and removing the need for Border permit for those inside its bubble.
The State parliamentarians say business, health care, education and families are at breaking point. They believe their plan could provide the blueprint for how the nation lives with COVID-19 or future pandemics.
The pair say more than half a century of public policy has seen this region as one community – whether it be the growth centre plan of the 1970s to the One City proposal in 2001 and more recently the creation of Albury Wodonga Health as the only cross border health service in the nation.
Comments attributable to Member for Albury Justin Clancy MP
“Our message is the border closure has not just an economic impact, but also a social and human toll as well.
“Bill has been tireless in his advocacy during this time, and I appreciate the need to work cooperatively, supporting each other’s communities irrespective of the borders.
“We seek both Premiers to likewise collaborate and drive forward solutions that not just keep our communities safe, but also gives our communities much needed respite.”
Comments attributable to Member for Benambra Bill Tilley MLA
“We’re offering the Premiers a solution to the lazy policy and crippling restrictions and permits that are killing businesses and destroying families.
“We say put your trust in our people, be our champions, let us show you how communities can live with this threat.
“This could be the test case of how the nation moves forward — who knows if there will be a vaccine, no one can say there won’t be another pandemic in 10 years. We have more than 150,000 people, if we can live with it then why couldn’t this plan be rolled out elsewhere.”