20 November 2020


Tim Quilty sets his alarm clock ready for a midnight unimpeded crossing into NSW

Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty is preparing for a late night on Sunday as he looks forward to an unimpeded crossing into NSW.

The Wodonga-based MP will drive into Albury at 12:01am on Monday, November 23, the official time when NSW will open its borders.

Mr Quilty says the closure has brought only destruction rather than benefit.

“The border should have remained open because the COVID-19 problem has been almost exclusively a metropolitan one, and border communities should not have had to pay this high price,” Mr Quilty said.

“These past four and a half months have caused a lot of damage, a lot of wasted time and untold economic and wellbeing damage, so I am going to celebrate by crossing as soon as it opens.

“The idea started as a joke, but now I really want to go through with it.

“It’s a symbolic act – to be honest I can think of plenty of better things to be doing at midnight than going for a drive on the Causeway – but a significant act to celebrate a much-needed return to normality.”

Mr Quilty said the border closure has been a huge burden on families and businesses which rely on the ability to travel easily between states.

“We’ve all seen the queues – on the Causeway, the Hume and at all the other crossings up and down the river. And those of us who have been allowed to cross are by now well and truly sick of the waits, however entertaining some of the checkers may have been.

“As much as commuters have had to readjust their daily routines, for business owners or health service providers who rely on being able to reach multiple customers in Albury and Wodonga, this closure has been incredibly destructive.”

The NSW Government’s border bubble has demonstrated city bureaucrats’ utter ignorance and incompetence, according to Mr Quilty.

“The various permutations of the bubble boundaries have been the most random piece of art I have ever seen - and bore absolutely zero relation to the needs of real people,” Mr Quilty said.

“There is no way anybody with a knowledge of the area would have created such a ridiculous shape which smashed communities in half, left businesses cut off from their customers and forced people to drive outside the bubble to get to a different part of the bubble.

“We are all going to be thrilled to see the back of it.”

Mr Quilty welcomed any members of the community who wanted to join him in the celebratory crossing.

“We are meeting at the Gateway Village car park at 11.45 on Sunday night and will time our departure to cross into NSW at 12.01am,” Mr Quilty said.

“I don’t know whether It will be just me, or if there is anyone else crazy enough to want to do this. No doubt most people have had enough of the crossings, and just want a normal trip later in the morning on the way to work. But anyone who wants to come is welcome.

“But remember Monday is a workday – how cheerful I’ll be when I get into work remains to be seen.”

For more information, contact Graham Springett | 0408 208819