AN Albury business chief has welcomed the NSW Deputy Premier vowing that COVID-free districts will reopen on Saturday week.
Barry Young was responding to John Barilaro saying on Thursday council areas without virus diagnoses, COVID sewage traces and nearby cases would no longer be subject to lockdown in his state.
"We certainly hope that is the case and hope they judge this area on its merits," the Albury Business Connect chairman said.
"It's important they don't lock us down based on what's going on in Sydney because if they're not being responsible we pay a high price.
"We've done the right thing all the way along and to suffer for the sins of Sydney is disappointing."
Asked by The Border Mail what his message was to this region, given our lockdown has been extended to August 28 despite no cases, Mr Barilaro pointed to other areas.
"There's nothing happening in your neck of the woods, I accept that, but there was nothing happening in Bathurst, there was nothing happening in Kempsey, there was nothing happening in Queanbeyan and today we're reporting cases right across the board," he said.
"I know there's frustration....(but) we don't make these decisions just willy-nilly it's about protecting people, protecting families and lives and not overwhelming the health system.
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"That's why I'm confident for next Saturday we'll be coming out."
Mr Barilaro hinted areas would know by at least Thursday the lockdown would end at 12.01am Saturday.
"If we're going to come out next Saturday evening I'd like to know that the pubs and cafes are restocked and ready to go," Mr Barilaro said.
Mr Young said Thursday should be the latest time for a freedom announcement given staffing and stock needs.
"There's a lot to reconsider in opening a business, it's not just turning on the lights," he said.
Member for Albury Justin Clancy was not surprised by the continuation of the lockdown but hopes for a "nuanced response" based on council areas from Saturday week.
Meanwhile, Mr Barilaro clarified that further aid for Murray businesses suffering prolonged effects from shutdowns would be based on findings from the NSW Cross Border Commissioner which will be presented to the state government at a date to be decided.
"That work's being done, when that's ready that will then come to crisis committee or go to Treasurer and it may even just go to expenditure review committee for decision," he said.
A new permit system for those travelling from Sydney, Wollongong and the Blue Mountains into regional areas of NSW will be in force from Saturday.
There will be a 50-kilometre buffer zone but drivers travel beyond that distance they will require documentation and need to be adhering to set rules for motoring into country regions.
Owners of second homes will only be allowed to travel if that rural residence is being used for work or if it requires urgent maintenance and just one person can commute to it.
Travel to inspect a possible investment property will be no longer be allowed with only genuine home-seekers allowed to obtain a permit for real estate purposes.
Authorised workers, such as truckies, will also be subject to permits.
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