NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has left long-suffering border region residents hanging for another day on the ability to freely move either side of the Murray River.
The state government was expected to announce on Wednesday the dumping of the four permitted reasons to cross the border in favour of unrestricted movement for residents from the southern Riverina to the King Valley.
But Wodonga residents wanting to travel north to have a beer and or meal at an Albury pub, cafe, licensed club or restaurant or watch a movie will have to wait for a few days longer.
Ms Berejiklian said the amended public health order to rubber stamp the changes was awaiting sign-off from her health minister, Brad Hazzard.
"Essentially there will be an easing of what border communities can do, given the easing of restriction in Victoria," she said.
"The health advice is when the risk in Victoria eases we want to provide as much relief as possible for our border communities."
IN OTHER NEWS:
Regional Victoria moved to step three on the government's road map out of restrictions overnight.
Member for Albury Justin Clancy said positive news on border travel arrangements wasn't far away.
"Early indications are positive at what we are looking at will come to fruition," he said.
"But I'm still waiting to see the final written detail and will keep pushing on it.
"What I've been pushing for at a minimum is access to cafes, restaurants, licensed venues, outdoor recreation, cinema and obviously social gatherings.
"I'm hopeful we can land in that space."
But Victorian Nationals leader Peter Walsh said the hold-up was unacceptable.
"Today's non-event from NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is an absolute kick in the guts to families, businesses and communities on the border who have been to hell and back under closures that have separated us from family, friends, work, education and health care," he said.
"We've been anticipating the significant easing of restrictions in regional Victoria for nearly a week.
"That's more than enough time to consider and implement changes to NSW public health orders that allow our border communities to safely move towards COVID normal.
"Daniel Andrews and the NSW Premier have sat on their hands and done nothing to prepare to re-open the border leaving our communities facing another week of pain."
Albury mayor Kevin Mack also blasted the delay.
"It is extremely disappointing for all of our border communities," he said.
"Given that the proposed changes were mooted last week by Victoria, surely Macquarie Street could have beeen prepared for this 'simple amendment?
"Extra days of pain add to further harm to our economies and the mental well being of our communities.
"Nothing has changed."