Border closure raises questions for agriculture

Rural leaders watch and wait to see how agriculture will be affected in border closures

Coronavirus
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Border closure logistics discussed in rural circles.

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Tim Robinson

Tim Robinson

THE logistics of how a border closure will affect agriculture in southern NSW and northern Victoria quickly started to take shape early this week.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Monday that the border would close from 11.59pm on Tuesday. However, for agriculture there were possibly more questions and answers.

Tim Robinson is a livestock agent with Paull and Scollard, Nutrien in the border region.

"I live in NSW but Barnawartha (saleyards) is on the Victorian side," Mr Robinson said. He first learned about the border closure during the Corowa sheep and lamb sale on Monday.

"The reality of it is there will need to be some understanding and exemptions," he said.

"We cross the border on a daily basis for our work," he said. Mr Robinson said he hoped commonsense prevailed and people exercised caution and social distancing.

Livestock agents and transporters say the impending closure of the border between Victoria and NSW is unlikely to have an adverse impact. Cattle markets were set to continue at Barnawartha and livestock agents explained that vendors from both sides of the border regularly support the sale.

Michael Unthank, Brian Unthank Rural, Albury, said he believed agents would be given permits, to cross the border, "to do our everyday jobs.

"It's more the tourist side of things, that's affected," Mr Unthank said.

"I'm not making the rules, but I wouldn't think there would be issues- I hope not, anyway."

NSW Farmers' president James Jackson said the exemptions to the border closure should be modelled off those used in Queensland earlier this year.

"Border communities are set to be hardest hit by this change, but there are also several commodities in NSW that will be impacted through possible constraints on freight and access," Mr Jackson said.

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The story Border closure raises questions for agriculture first appeared on The Rural.

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