“The Ill-considered closure of the NSW-Victoria border will pull the rug out from under any recovery and is chaos in the making,” Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group, said today.
“The border closure puts up a Berlin Wall between our two biggest states which represent more than half our national economy, and cuts in two our country’s main economic artery. It is a sledge-hammer approach when what is required is focused strategy that is community and hot-spot based and not based on arbitrary borders that split communities. It is a Ready-Fire-Aim approach where communities are all dealt with in the same way regardless of their level of risk.
“Despite any promises that may be made by the states to keep businesses operating across borders it can be guaranteed that the economic disruption will be immense. Albury-Wodonga is a freight hub which will now be divided by a “show me your papers please” mentality.
“Freight must be waved through without any delay and police on both sides of the border should be given clear and consistent instructions rather than the vague directions that caused massive traffic jams and huge economic cost elsewhere.
“We also don’t want to see permits demanded to be filled in or justifications made of ‘essential’ travel. The Prime Minister has said if you are working your job is essential and the fact that you are travelling for work should also result in being waved through border controls.
“Rather than a State vs State situation we should be dealing with this pandemic in a nationally consistent manner. That national approach is looking more lost every day with inconsistent and conflicting health and travel advice coming from every corner.
“NSW and Victoria led the way in keeping their borders open and they were rightly praised. Nothing has changed dramatically to alter that original and correct approach,” Mr Willox said.