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Latest NSW/VIC border restrictions a threat to jobs and businesses

"Ai Group is deeply concerned at the new restrictions imposed without notice by Service NSW on people moving into border zones between NSW and Victoria," Mark Goodsell, NSW Head of the national employer association Ai Group said today.

"The restrictions will damage businesses, employees and families and go well beyond the actual threats posed by people engaged in work. The drastic narrowing of the range of people who are able to go to work or provide services in these areas will be a job-killer if not removed promptly.

"The new restriction is that the 'critical services' definition does not apply to everyone working in the mining, agriculture, construction, energy or manufacturing sectors. This stops key parts of businesses in sectors which have been allowed to operate nationally and with high levels of safety throughout the pandemic and threatens business operators with large fines and jail.

"We implore the NSW Government to reverse these blunt measures which are not supported by a clear analysis of the risks presented by the movement of the now-excluded people into the border zones.

"Direct local communication should also be established between the border business community, local leaders and state decision makers so that changes in border restrictions do not come as a surprise to these communities, as has now happened three times, and to give these communities the opportunity to stop such action before they cause unnecessary damage to jobs and businesses.

"Business wants to play its part - but it needs to be in the loop so that it can contribute to the balance of health and economic imperatives," Mr Goodsell said.

Media enquiries: Tony Melville – 0419 190 347