While hundreds of cross-border issues are raised they usually are one of three kinds – or sometimes a bit of each:
- Rule differences – like the varying rules for L and P plate drivers, or multiple licensing for tradespeople. Fixing these usually means changing rules, and that could mean having one or both parliaments change legislation. That is not a quick process, but it can be done when a solid case is argued.
- Practice differences - State A does it this way, State B does it that way. Both might be reasonable ways to do it, but when you put them together at the border it causes confusion for those who have to deal with both. Fixing these can look simple, as practice is not necessarily tied up in laws (though sometimes it is). However, changing deeply ingrained practices also needs a solid case to convince those who can lead such change in agencies.
- Opportunities for joint action or investment - for example: “Wouldn’t it be better if we could market our tourism offerings together rather than separately?” Again not really about rules, it’s about working together, investing together, building together and bringing together agencies from governments on both sides.
At a minimum, every border issue or opportunity raised is reported to the Minister for Regional Development, The Hon Jaclyn Symes MP, the Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Victoria, Ms Danielle Green MP, relevant Victorian and interstate government departments or agencies and other relevant Ministers.
When required we play an active role helping departments and agencies to understand the issues raised and how they are impacting on border residents and businesses. This includes bringing agencies to the border to meet with their cross-border counterparts and to hear from impacted residents and businesses directly. Bringing agency leaders out of Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide to hear and learn directly from those of us on the border is already bearing fruit as those leaders action change in response to that experience.
Memorandum of Understanding for Cross-Border Collaboration with NSW
Cross-border issues between Victoria and NSW can also now be captured under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the Premiers of each state, committing both governments to pursuing border reforms. With the MOU executed and in place our Cross Border Commissioners can now auspice change under a clearer governance structure that can bring any relevant part of either state government to the listening and reform table.
Contact the Commissioner
- Email email@example.com
- Write to us at PO Box 1332, Wodonga VIC 3689
- Call 0436 642 436
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