November 23 cannot come soon enough, says Nationals Senate Leader and Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie.
“Today’s confirmation from the NSW Premier to fully open the Victoria-NSW border on November 23 means the end is in sight for communities who have endured considerable and extended hardship under harsh COVID-19 restrictions,” Senator McKenzie said.
“Restrictions have cost the Victorian economy tens of billions of dollars, and hundreds of thousands of jobs.
“Just as the Victorian government’s quarantine and contact tracing incompetence and one size fits all approach to handling this pandemic caused unnecessary distress for regional and rural communities, NSW’s blanket border closure imposed on all of Victoria highlighted a real disconnect between city and country.”
“The fact remains if Melbourne hotspots were locked down efficiently and effectively early, it would have negated the need for state border closures, which stalled our economic recovery on the back of a devastating summer bushfire season.
“Despite very low isolated case numbers right across regional Victoria, our communities have not wavered in their commitment to suppress this highly-contagious virus.
“Removing border checkpoints on November 23 is the final significant step to allow those regional economies, lives and families to kick-start their recovery on the road to COVID-19 normal.”