A MULWALA construction firm has had to temporarily abandon a string of big projects because two-thirds of its staff live in Yarrawonga.
Kennedy Builders is working upon an aquatic hub at Urana, sports precinct at Coleambally and a racecourse grandstand and a dancing studio at Jerilderie.
However, rules that stop Victorians travelling beyond the border zone mean owner Andrew Kennedy no longer has workers for those jobs.
Out of his staff of 45, 29 live south of the Murray River.
"It's extremely frustrating to have your staff sitting on the other side of the bridge and you're winning big jobs and you can't take them," Mr Kennedy said.
IN OTHER NEWS
The situation became so drastic last week that Mr Kennedy had to drive 11 hours to Crescent Head on the NSW Mid North Coast to work on a caravan park upgrade being done by his firm for the Kempsey Council.
"I'm 50 now I didn't want to do concreting all week but I only had four staff," Mr Kennedy said.
The impasse meant the Federation Shire councillor was unable to attend a monthly meeting as he would have done otherwise.
Mr Kennedy has raised his concerns with the shires involved in the Riverina tasks, Federation and Murrumbidgee, emailed politicians and contacted Service NSW.
"Hopefully in the not too distant future we can get exemptions, but no-one can tell us what is going on," he said.
Member for Albury Justin Clancy said he was not aware of the specifics of Mr Kennedy's case, but was concerned with the construction sector in general being hurt.
"Whilst the ag permit has gained a level of visibility at the national level my point is that there are other critical industries and construction exemplifies that," Mr Clancy said.
Changes last week will allow agricultural workers to travel 100 kilometres into NSW, but if the same rule applied to builders, Mr Kennedy would not be able to resume building at Coleambally because it is 129 kilometres from the border.
Meanwhile, Mr Clancy said NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro was expected to return to Albury on Tuesday after having visited the city last Thursday.
Mr Barilaro said he did not want to come back to the border without having changes to announce, after the community was left nonplussed at no easing of restrictions after his last visit.
The NSW Cabinet is due to meet on Monday with the border situation on the agenda for debate between Mr Barilaro, Premier Gladys Berejiklian and other ministers.