Travel restrictions for residents on the NSW and Victorian border will be eased, with the NSW government flagging the extension of its border travel zone.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro told reporters the state government would extend the border zone from 2.5 to 50 kilometres for NSW-Victoria border residents who have permits to enter the northern state.
A 100-kilometre exemption will also be added for agriculture workers. The confirmation by Barilaro comes after the Deputy Premier said the move would give more freedom to those on both sides of the border to work and function as a community.
“I understand the uniqueness, the anomalies, that often in normal circumstances make it difficult to live in these communities,” Barilaro told reporters.
“You put a layer of COVID over the top of this community and restrictions, it really makes it difficult.”
He also noted in a series of tweets on Tuesday that local member Justin Clancy would co-chair the ‘Southern Borders Recovery Committee’ to look at the economic and social impacts of the border closure, as well as a recovery package for the tourism industry.
— John Barilaro MP (@JohnBarilaroMP) August 25, 2020
The announcement by Barilaro came as NSW recorded three new coronavirus infections, and, according to ABC News, police charged a Victorian man who allegedly crossed the border illegally and lead them on a 200-kilometre car chase.
South Australia is also set to relax some of its toughest measures on the Victorian border, only days after enacting them.
A 40-kilometre buffer zone will be reinstated between the states from Friday, which The New Daily noted would allow students to cross the border to go to school and primary producers to work on their cross-border properties.
The move, according to the outlet, follows “sustained pressure” from border communities.
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