Southern NSW border controls off to difficult start


Police will run system on the ground as Service NSW website struggles

Southern NSW border controls off to difficult start
Police are in charge of NSW-Victoria border crossings

 

Pandemic travel controls in Australia on the New South Wales southern border appear little different to those a century ago, for the present, with police the sole arbiters of transits.

Police are being supported by the military and those found breaching the latest NSW public health order face an $11,000 fine and six months in prison.

The NSW government is grappling with the Service NSW website system that is supposed to furnish entry permits for the general public and truck drivers alike, but appears to be overwhelmed.

The NSW government says that NSW Police will exercise discretion at the border over the next 48 hours while the problem is addressed and parties adapt to the new border arrangements, the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) advises.

But there is expectation that the situation may not settle down for 72 hours.

"The permit application system is experiencing high levels of demand," the Service NSW website states.

"You may experience delays in securing a permit.

"You can still demonstrate your eligibility to cross the border to Police by carrying relevant documentation based on your exemption category. "

As with South Australia, once the system becomes operational, truck drivers must apply for an entry permit and carry it with them.

They will be valid for 14 days at a time.

Critical services workers who require a permit to enter NSW include those involved in:

  • freight and logistics
  • the maintenance and repair of critical infrastructure
  • medical or hospital care
  • mining, agriculture, construction, energy or manufacturing.

The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) notes that  there are 55 crossing points, with  local governments are closing many.

Six sites have been identified as priority crossings which will remain open:

  • Wodonga Place, South Albury
  • Hume Hwy, South Albury
  • Cobb Hwy, Moama
  • Newell Hwy, Tocumwal
  • Sturt Hwy, Buronga
  • Princes Hwy, Tambillica.

More to come

 

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