Nationals Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy is calling for local Victorian farmers to be allowed access to their livestock and crops on the NSW side of the border.
Mr McCurdy said he had been fielding up to 20 calls a day from Ovens Valley farmers who have been affected by the hardened border closure.
“There must be greater understanding by the NSW government of the impacts of border closures on the livelihoods of farmers as the restrictions jeopardise the wellbeing of cattle and sheep and risk winter crops,” Mr McCurdy said.
“I understand and respect why the NSW Government has lost faith in the Victorian Government’s ability to control the virus but most of this is in metropolitan Melbourne.
‘I’m not suggesting a free for all, just some practical ways that allows Victorian farmers who own property on the NSW side of the border to access their land and check on the wellbeing of stock and crops.”
Mr McCurdy said that as the situation became increasing serious, farmers must be allowed to access their properties.
“I’m not asking for the border gate to swing open but it’s time to allow for some relevant exemptions,” he said.
“Agriculture is still the back bone of our regional communities and this virus has shown that as important as tourism is, when the chips are down, agriculture and value adding agriculture will be our saving grace.
“Our country communities don’t need this pandemic to destroy another group of vital businesses.”