Adam Marshall said the decision today by the Queensland Premier to set in place a 'hard border' with NSW this weekend was disappointing, but not surprising.
"I feel the need to make clear that in no way does the Queensland Government's decision reflect the current health advice here in NSW. Our state is not Victoria and is far, far from a COVID-19 hotspot," Mr Marshall said.
"I also feel it is a bit disingenuous of the Queensland Premier to brand all of NSW as a COVID-19 hotspot, when the majority of rural and regional communities have gone out of their way to follow health advice, social distance and have successfully kept themselves coronavirus free - like the Northern Tablelands.
"While the announcement today is frustrating for border residents in our region, it should not be entirely unexpected, after all, we've been here before, just a few short months ago," he said.
Upon hearing the news early this morning, Mr Marshall said he immediately contacted his Queensland counterpart, Agriculture Minister Mark Furner, requesting several assurances.
They included that residents in border communities throughout the Northern Tablelands would still be able to cross the border to access work, health services, shop for groceries and other essentials, and that people employed in the agricultural sector and food supply chain businesses would still be able to cross the border to carry out their important work.
"I was given an assurance that exemptions would exist to permit travel in all those circumstances by permit - which means the border restrictions will mirror those first imposed a few months ago.
"While this is pleasing, I will continue to monitor the situation closely."
Mr Marshall urged people who may have been planning a trip north in the near future to contact the Queensland Government on 13 42 68 and seek advice on their specific situation.