Bilkey backs commissioner to clear up the border mess
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.’’