"The NSW Premier stated the reason for closing the border with Victoria was due to risk of community transmission from the outbreak in Melbourne being spread into NSW. With the greater Melbourne area going into stage 3 lockdown from tonight that threat has been removed.
"It is therefore reasonable to expect that the NSW Government will remove the barricades, stand down police and reopen the border on Thursday.
"There will be no loss of face politically as the situation has fundamentally changed with the six-week lock-down and the border closure was meant to be temporary.
"Businesses in low-risk Regional Victoria and NSW should be allowed to go about their work as normal. The health risk can be far more easily managed in the regions than the cities and the response should be differentiated accordingly. With the economy already struggling and high rates of reported mental health issues, any measure that can be taken to free up restrictions must be taken.
"Despite the best intentions the border closure has led to massive traffic jams and huge disruptions to border communities and this can be ended immediately and reviewed at the end of Melbourne’s six-week lock-down.
"Government’s need to be flexible and logical in their approach to the pandemic and the border closure does not pass that test," Mr Willox said.
Tim Piper, Head – Victoria, Ai Group: 0411 430 301