Lobbying by local politicians and business and community leaders to ease the NSW-Victorian border restrictions has resulted in a minor victory with the announcement of a new farmer permit.
Victorian farmers who own land in NSW - along with shearers, harvest contractors and beekeepers - will be able to move into NSW without having to quarantine or go via Sydney under the new permit system.
The ‘Highly Specialised Agriculture Permit’ will allow exempted Victorian agriculture workers who live within 100km of the NSW-Victoria border to move up to 100km into NSW; as long as they comply with conditions including self-isolating when not at work and have not travelled more than 100km into Victoria in the past 14 days.
Permit applications to travel further than 100km into NSW will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Beyond agriculture, there also remains the challenge of several thousand day-school students and staff from outside the border zone who will not be permitted to cross into NSW from 24 August.
The Member for Albury, Justin Clancy, and Member for Benambra, Bill Tilley, have also sent their respective premiers a letter calling for a boundary around the two electorates to allow for the lifting of Stage 3 restrictions south of the Murray River and removing the need for a border permit for those inside its bubble.