Rural Councils Victoria is calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to use his influence to resolve the border issues that have split communities and are impacting businesses both within Victoria and interstate.
The National Cabinet meeting on Friday night (21 August 2020) provides Mr Morrison with the forum he needs to make a positive intervention.
Rural Councils Victoria Chair Cr Mary-Ann Brown said:
“It is imperative that the federal government, and particularly the Prime Minister, use their influence to remedy a situation that is out of control and is negatively impacting individuals, families, businesses and organisations.
“People living in border communities are facing stricter limits on their lives than Melbournians who are under stage four restrictions, and there are no stage four restrictions in rural and regional areas.”
“Border closures have cut communities in half and are having a negative impact on individual health and wellbeing as well as on sectors such as health, education, agricultural workers and agribusiness.
“Previously National Cabinet produced a protocol for freight.
“The next meeting of National Cabinet on Friday night (21 August) needs to discuss protocol around agricultural workers, education, health and people accessing health services.”
“Every other day we are hearing from people who aren’t allowed to see frail elderly parents unless they are about to die, grandparents who can’t help with the care of their grandchildren, business people who have been forced to shut their businesses because there is no support from either the Victorian or NSW governments.”
“The daily chaos at our borders has gone on far too long and it is time for the Prime Minister to use his influence to help resolve the serious issues the closures are causing.”
“Federal leadership is urgently called for.”
“A national and rational approach is needed, with region-specific solutions implemented as appropriate,” Cr Brown said.