VICTORIA is prepared to play catch-up on cross-border anomalies with three industry sectors in Albury-Wodonga targeted for a reduction in red tape.
Taxis, pubs and clubs and trucking businesses will be able to operate more efficiently across the two states once a memorandum of understanding is signed off.
A MOU has existed between NSW and Queensland since 2011, but no deal presently exists between NSW and Victoria.
Before the trial can start, Victoria has to appoint a cross-border commissioner with the role having been introduced in NSW in 2012.
Funding was announced in the recent Victorian budget for the position and small business minister Philip Dalidakis said in Wodonga on Tuesday “bureaucrats were at the ready” to draft up the trial conditions.
Mr Dalidakis was joined by his NSW and federal counterparts John Barilaro and Craig Laundy for an historic cross-border roundtable discussion which attracted representatives from all tiers of government and industry leaders.
“NSW has been doing this for some time and in Victoria we’re obviously catching up,” Mr Dalidakis said.
“This is about creating economic opportunity and employment opportunity, but it is also about making sure we remove red tape wherever we can.
“We will get cracking on this as soon as possible.
“The costs aren’t substantial and the governments have agreed to share the costs which is again no impediment to moving forward.
“We can’t lose sight of the fact we are about outcomes.”
Mr Barilaro said agreements between his state and Queensland and the ACT had delivered results.
“It sets in place the blueprint that you can actually deal with issues across the border,” he said.
“If you want to convince government to do this more broadly you can actually take on some small pilots.
“This is about outcomes and not just another talk-fest.”
The NSW Government is allocating $20 million towards a cross-border infrastructure fund.
Mr Laundy said the three ministers had a shared vision to make life for small business owners easier.
“If you work in a pub in Albury why shouldn’t it be consistent in Wodonga?” he said.
“Builders, plumbers, chippies, sparkies, you name it, should be able to work across state borders with ease.”
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