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Canberra Today 14°/16° | Wednesday, October 20, 2021 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Another fortnight of cross-border confusion, says building chief

THE ACT government’s refusal to align ACT cross-border travel rules with regional NSW means that ACT businesses and workers will have to endure at least two more weeks of confusing travel rules, says Master Builders ACT CEO Michael Hopkins.

Michael Hopkins… “Denying businesses support payments is mean, cruel and leaves these local businesses fending for themselves.”

“The ACT’s cross-border travel rules are extremely confusing and difficult to decipher,” he said of the arrangements to be implemented tomorrow (October 15). 

“The ACT’s rules mean that regional NSW residents can freely travel throughout regional NSW for essential work, but cannot enter the ACT if they live outside 27 arbitrary NSW postcodes even though this travel is permitted by the NSW government.”

“No evidence has been supplied to support the ACT government’s decision to allow travel to the ACT from Gundagai but not permit travel from Bega, even when the NSW government permits travel between Gundagai and Bega.

“The rules mean that from Friday a tradie living in Goulburn has to choose between traveling to the ACT or Marulan for work, but cannot travel to both without staying home for 14 days.

“This announcement demonstrates that when the ACT government has the chance to make life easier for local businesses, they choose to make rules complicated and harder to understand than other governments.

“The ACT government should simply make travel rules between the ACT and regional NSW the same.”

He said the complication of cross-border travel rules came in the same week local construction businesses discovered the ACT government had made the construction industry ineligible for further business support payments.

“The ACT government’s decision to make local construction businesses ineligible for business support payments with no consultation beggars belief,” Mr Hopkins said.

“While most of the construction industry is permitted to reopen with limitations, many small construction businesses that undertake renovation work or maintenance work on apartments are still shut.

“Denying these businesses support payments is mean, cruel and leaves these local businesses fending for themselves during the longest shutdown of the construction industry in Australia.

“The ACT government should allow businesses in any industry to continue to receive support payments if they are suffering a 30 per cent reduction in income as originally announced by the Chief Minister.”

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Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Ian Meikle

Ian Meikle

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