MEDIA RELEASE

17 September 2020

 

Border changes are a positive step but controls must now be removed, says Tim Quilty

Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty says the easing of border restrictions should be extended to their complete abolition.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced yesterday she was easing border restrictions to give more freedom of movement to Victorians, with the changes happening overnight.

“The easing of restrictions has made the border bubble concept something of a joke,” Mr Quilty said.

“Anything which can be done in places like Wodonga or Mildura under step three can now be done by Victorians in the NSW border bubble, which extends almost to Wagga Wagga and Narrandera.

“It is good to see such freedom of movement restored, and so quickly, but it does make the idea of a bubble redundant.

“I would like to see the whole idea dropped and the border completely opened up, so that we no longer have to sit in traffic jams at checkpoints with pieces of paper at the ready.”

Mr Quilty said the closure had caused so much damage and confusion that it was well past its use-by date.

“A couple came into my office this morning asking for help obtaining a permit and seeking clarification on the rules, which demonstrates how this border restriction is still an unreasonable burden

“We will slowly see businesses coming back to life – those that have survived, that is – and the return to something approaching a normal life in border regions, but the spectre of the closure will hang around like Banquo’s ghost.

“It will be a spectre reminding us all how badly we have been treated by metro-centric governments.”

Mr Quilty believes the border closure has from the start shown how regional Australians deserve to have their own separate government focused on their needs.

“We have known all along that regional Victoria has not been a hotbed of COVID activity and that communities on the border should have been free to move as they wish,” Mr Quilty said.

“The border closure showed a complete failure to understand how border communities function and continues to demonstrate the disdain and ignorance with which metropolitan governments treat regional communities.

“This proves that we need to look at breaking away and establishing our own state – Rexit is the best solution for regional Victoria and regional NSW to eliminate the countless problems caused by city rule.”

For more information, contact Graham Springett | 0408 208819