ACT Senator Zed Seselja is calling for further movement on the border issues between the ACT and NSW amid some easing of rules overnight, but ongoing frustration and confusion over the jurisdictions' different lockdown arrangements.
Senator Seselja has been lobbying the new leadership team in NSW, including Premier Dominic Perrottet, following the significant shift in easing restrictions across the state for fully vaccinated people after months locked down.
Acknowledging high vaccination rates in the region, he wants ACT residents to be able to travel like they have the same rules as people in regional NSW.
"There's no reason why people from Canberra shouldn't be able to travel to parts of regional New South Wales," Senator Seselja told The Canberra Times.
"Look, I'm hopeful, and I'm certainly asking the New South Wales government and I guess then in turn, the ACT government to start to normalise our border arrangements as soon as possible.
"I'm hearing from a lot of frustrated Canberrans who just want to be able to do normal things. I understand the need to do things safely but that's where we're getting to and ... that should be the great benefit of what we've all achieved together through high vaccination rates."
Despite high rates of vaccinations on both sides of the border, the different treatments is causing for problems for border residents - with people from New South Wales initially told they will have to complete a declaration and abide by stay-at-home directions if they enter the ACT "for any purpose until the ACT comes out of lockdown".
This was rescinded overnight for NSW residents who enter the ACT for work, to receive medical or health treatment, or to accompany a person receiving medical or health treatment in the ACT.
NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant issued the exemption on Monday night.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the ACT government will have confirmation from NSW by Wednesday or Thursday on any changes to travel restrictions.
Senator Seselja is hopeful of a further easing of restrictions when both jurisdictions get to the 80 per cent full vaccination threshold.
"I'm hearing from people that have elderly parents who have moved down to the south coast from Canberra. There's a real disconnect," he said.
"My argument to New South Wales, and I hope that they take this decision, is that the ACT effectively should be for the purposes of travel treated the same as other parts of regional New South Wales at the very least."
"If people in regional New South Wales can travel around the state, there's no reason why people from Canberra shouldn't be able to travel to parts of regional New South Wales."
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