State MP for Wagga Dr Joe McGirr has called on the NSW and Victorian state governments to unite over the rules of the current cross-border bubble.
As it currently stands, NSW recognises Wagga outside of the bubble, while Victoria sees Wagga as part of it.
NSW declared Victoria an area of concern from 12:01 am on July 17, which means any Wagga resident who has been to Victoria must follow stay at home rules for 14 days upon returning.
But as both states see Wagga differently, it has created a great deal of confusion for those who have travelled to Victorian towns within the bubble.
Although as Victoria remains in lockdown, residents are told not travel at this current time, only if they are in the border bubble and for only essential means, such as caregiving.
Dr McGirr said he has reached out to Minister for Health Brad Hazzard on a number of occasions regarding the issue, asking for unity, and will do so once again.
"It [Wagga] is still in the bubble as far as Victoria is concerned. But it is outside of the bubble as far as NSW is concerned and yes, it is ridiculous," Dr McGirr said.
"But that's been the case all along and we have advocated with the Health Minister that the bubble should be the same. But we have this situation."
Dr McGirr clarified it does mean Wagga residents can still travel to Victorian towns in the bubble region, however they will have to isolate for 14 days on returning home. Only leaving their house with a reasonable excuse. But again, only for essential reasons at this current time.
"What this means is if you are in Wagga, you can go to a border area in Victoria. So you can go to Wodonga, but you can't go outside the border area.
"However, if you want to come back from Wodonga, to Wagga, it is my understanding you have to comply with the stay at home orders and not leave unless you have a reasonable excuse."
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Dr McGirr called for the two states to include the same locations in the border bubble, to ease confusion.
"I think they should be the same, it is completely ridiculous. We have written to the minister about this and I know the cross border commissioner has raised it with the minister.
"I raised it with the minister last time this happened. We will be raising it again, it should be consistent."
NSW cross border commissioner James McTavish said there will eventually be further changes to the current border bubble arrangement.
"It is something that as things continue develop, there will be further changes. I am hoping as part of those further changes, we will begin to see some better alignment between us and Victoria," he said.
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