13 January 2021


Tim Quilty vows to fight for all border communities during Victorian lockout

Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty has promised to fight for all border communities, regardless of which side of the Murray they are on, after attending an emergency meeting today.

Mr Quilty was invited to a meeting of Moama business owners who are suffering from the Victorian Government’s border closure, and heard how bleak their outlook is.

“This border closure is killing communities all along the Murray and the sad truth is that the Andrews Government could not care less,” Mr Quilty said.

“Towns on both sides of the border function as one but nobody in Melbourne understands.

“And because from Melbourne this looks like a problem affecting only NSW residents, it is highly likely the Victorian Government will be only too happy to do absolutely nothing to help.

“Dan Andrews can have his revenge on Gladys for the humiliation of the first border closure, and the border residents can be damned.

“It’s another example of COVID theatre, designed to appeal to voters in the city, achieving nothing but massive disruption of border economies and lives.

“Although I am a Victorian MP, I am perfectly willing to speak up for border communities north of the Murray.”

The meeting was called by Steve Shipp, who runs the Murray River Resort in Moama, and is one of many who have had a gutful.

“We are trying to get our businesses working again – the destruction in Moama is incredible,” Mr Shipp said. “We are a community that’s being killed by metropolitan-based governments who’ve got no idea about how we survive up here.”

Mr Shipp said the group is calling for the Victorian Government’s classification of NSW border areas to change from amber – which requires visitors to get a COVID test and isolate while awaiting a negative result – to green, which requires no restrictions.

“They haven’t thought about border communities when they slapped that ridiculous border restriction on us on New Year’s Eve,” Mr Shipp said.

“We want them to change the border region of NSW to a green zone, we would like to see police off the border, and we want both state governments to understand that they need to talk to each other and understand how their actions affect border communities.”

Mr Quilty said the absence of any understanding of border issues is undeniable proof that regional communities in Victoria and NSW need to break away and form a new state, a process Mr Quilty has dubbed Rexit – a regional exit.

“City governments cannot or will not get their heads around this border issue, and I can’t see that ever changing – what we need is Rexit,” Mr Quilty said.

“A state governed by regional people for regional people would actually know about life out here, and make decisions based on a knowledge and understanding of regional life.

“Until that happens, we will see more examples of this total absence of compassion.”

For more information, contact Graham Springett | 0408 208819