THE NSW Treasurer won't say if he will help border businesses hurting because of Victoria's COVID lockdown, despite hearing a personal plea for assistance from Albury MP Justin Clancy.
Dominic Perrottet has been asked by Mr Clancy, a fellow Liberal politician, to provide some relief for enterprises suffering due to a lack of Victorian trade.
The push by Mr Clancy followed feedback from Murray Region Tourism chief executive Mark Francis and NSW cross border commissioner James McTavish.
Albury Business Connect and Business NSW Murray-Riverina leaders also want help, pointing to $26 million left in government coffers after being earmarked for southern border recovery grants last year following the closure of the border.
"When there's a Victorian lockdown, NSW businesses fall through the cracks," Business Connect chairman Barry Young said.
"We're impacted pretty significantly when we lose our market out of Victoria and I know accommodation providers and hospitality businesses are facing a hit with the long weekend coming up.
"There's a border bubble in existence that addresses movement but it doesn't address compensation for businesses that have been affected and whether we can use that for recovery funds is something to look at."
Mr Clancy said he raised the case for compensation and other assistance such as having bespoke Dine and Discover vouchers for the southern Riverina and also referenced the unspent grant money in his chat with Mr Perrottet.
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"I can't indicate when the Treasurer will respond, but hopefully it will be timely," Mr Clancy said.
On Tuesday, Mr Perrottet declined to give any indication to The Border Mail about the likelihood of help.
Questions put to his office asking when a decision would be made and if Mr Perrottet was favourably disposed to providing help were not answered.
The NSW Government last year provided more than 2200 southern border grants, worth up to $10,000 each, to assist struggling businesses.
Mr Francis has some optimism that state support will emerge.
"Hopefully there can be a sequence of opportunities that can come to fruition and importantly there's heightened awareness in the NSW government about the impact that this is having on the ground," he said.
Business NSW Murray-Riverina regional manager Anthony McFarlane said he wrote to Mr Perrottet, after the Treasurer's visit to Albury in March, requesting the southern border grant cash be used in the area but had not received a response.
Mr Francis said before the latest lockdown his group had proposed to the NSW Small Business Minister that the leftover money be spent on support such as more travel vouchers, visitor advertising and resilience help for businesses such as financial planning guidance.
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