The Tintaldra Bridge is expected to be re-opened tomorrow (Monday) at 6am after the NSW border with Victoria was closed last Tuesday.
Under the new restrictions only permit holders, emergency services workers, freight drivers and returning travellers are able to cross into NSW from Victoria. The joint decision by the NSW, Victorian and Australian governments created confusion for locals who regularly travel between the states and this turned to anger when a 'hard closure' of the bridges at the Towong and Tintaldra crossing points was put in place, forcing motorists to detour well out of their way, with only the Bringenbrong and Jingellic Bridges remaining open and being manned by NSW police.
The Corryong Courier received several calls from concerned locals and contacted the Towong and Snowy Valleys Shires, Transport NSW and NSW Police about the Towong and Tintaldra closures causing long delays and putting community safety at risk.
Towong Shire mayor, Cr David Wortmann, said his council would take up the issue of he impact the hard border closures will have on travel times.
“For example, if a Corryong ambulance is required to attend an incident in NSW this will add up to an additional 50kms on top of a trip that is already 140kms to the nearest hospital,” he said.
“This is simply not acceptable.
“We are advocating on behalf of residents to the NSW government to have these bridges manned, allowing residents to access the healthcare and other services.”
NSW Police said it was co-ordinating Operation Border Control which is an unprecedented operation in its scale.
"Given its unprecedented nature, it is dynamic and constantly evolving and police are constantly assessing the operation with a view to being flexible with our resources on the ground," a police spokesperson said. "This includes consideration being given to the location of vehicle checkpoints and hard closures as the operation progresses.
"Police would like to thank the community for their assistance so far, and remind everyone of the importance of abiding by all Public Health Orders."
The representations from council, emergency services groups and residents and the Corryong Courier seems to have had the desired effect with unofficial advice that the Tintaldra Bridge will re-open tomorrow.