Bilkey backs com­mis­sioner to clear up the bor­der mess

The Riverine Herald - - NEWS -

MUR­RAY River Coun­cil mayor Chris Bilkey is con­fi­dent some of the cross-bor­der anom­alies which ‘‘plague our ex­is­tence’’ will be ad­dressed fol­low­ing the ap­point­ment of a new Vic­to­rian cross-bor­der com­mis­sioner.

Luke Wil­son was re­cently an­nounced as the first com­mis­sioner for the state, based in Wodonga. He held a se­nior po­si­tion in the Vic­to­rian Depart­ment of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, Jobs, Trans­port and Re­sources (DEDJTR) and took on the po­si­tion in Oc­to­ber.

Cr Bilkey hopes it will mean is­sues in his lo­cal govern­ment area will be tar­geted soon.

He said a snake catcher in Koon­drook, Vic­to­ria was un­able to travel to Barham hospi­tal in NSW — lit­er­ally across the river — to col­lect a snake be­cause he was only reg­is­tered in Vic­to­ria.

‘‘There was a snake on the grounds so the staff con­tacted the lo­cal snake catcher who hap­pened to be in Koon­drook and said ‘sorry I can’t come and catch snakes in NSW, I’m not reg­is­tered’,’’ Cr Bilkey said.

‘‘Some­thing as ba­sic as that is held up by cross-bor­der is­sues.’’

An­other is­sue is the con­tainer de­posit scheme, Cr Bilkey said.

Peo­ple in NSW can off­load their cans for cash and Cr Bilkey said it needed to be in­tro­duced in Vic­to­ria too.

‘‘I drive past it reg­u­larly but I am yet to see a NSW num­ber plate,’’ he said.

‘‘They are all Vic­to­ri­ans ... that’s a crazy anom­aly that cre­ates stress for re­tail­ers on both sides of the river.’’

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