"Communities, businesses and individuals have had their lives and livelihoods upturned by the border restrictions and overly complex permit system.
"If the big risk areas are Greater Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire, and not regional Victoria, it would make sense to remove all border restrictions and perhaps institute actions to constrain travel from those areas until the Melbourne lockdown is lifted.
"In any case, travel out of Melbourne is strictly controlled so the risk of masses of travellers leaving there for NSW is virtually non-existent. There have been no COVID cases in the Riverina or North East Victoria for well over a month – and the only case in these areas for more than two months before that involved just four people and was dealt with quickly and efficiently.
"There are far too many unintended consequences to let the current permit system stand.
"The management of the border crossing, with midnight changes to permits, has been greatly lacking and the disruptions and unintended consequences are proof that such a barrier between our two biggest states is neither feasible nor desirable.
"The time has come to remove the state border barrier completely and focus on localised responses to the virus which have proven very effective, especially in NSW," Mr Willox said.
Media enquiries: Tony Melville – 0419 190 347