New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian praised NSW-Victorian border communities for their patience on the eve of the lifting of border restrictions after more than four months

Speaking from the key border town of Albury, New South Wales, Ms Berejiklian said she understood what people had experienced during the 137 days the border was closed

“We know how difficult it has been for our communities in the New South Wales and Victoria border regions to put up with the border closure,” she said

“We never want to see this again This is the last time in our life that this border is closed and we know that tomorrow morning after midnight will be a whole new era for our two states”

Ms Berejiklian said around 600 New South Wales police officers and 500 members of the Australian Defense Force have been working at all times to manage border controls since they took effect on July 8

“I’m just delighted that life is back to normal tomorrow and I want to thank the community for your patience, resilience and also for being a great example to the rest of New South Wales”, a- she declared

The PM added that tomorrow’s reopening would mean NSW would be the only state in Australia not to have border restrictions, as well as welcoming New Zealanders

Ms Berejiklian said she felt more confident today about the border lifting than when she made the call on November 3, due to the number of days without local transmission for both States

She said measures in New South Wales, including the introduction of mandatory QR codes at sites from tomorrow, would continue to keep the state safe

“We have to be even more aware of this, not to let our guard down, especially during the summer when people get together for Christmas and New Years,” she said

“We just need to stay on high alert, but enjoy the freedoms in our state that no other state has”

Ms Berejikilian said she was pushing for international students to be included in the weekly cap of 3,000 foreign travelers arriving in Sydney from next year

She said other states are “just not doing their fair share” of returning Australians from overseas and hoped that would change after Christmas

If the burden were spread among more states next year, it could open up the possibility for NSW to welcome international students again to support universities, she said

“I think we need to have a conversation over the New Year about keeping jobs in New South Wales and in part I don’t want to see universities laying off hundreds and hundreds of workers because international students can ‘t return “

He said police and other staff drove 5 million cars and 500,000 heavy vehicles through border checkpoints during the shutdown

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“We have only had a handful of people doing the wrong thing in terms of COVID,” he said

It comes as NSW registers its 15th day free of locally transmitted coronavirus cases and Victoria has reported its 23rd consecutive day without cases

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NSW Vic border

World News – UA – “Never Again”: Gladys Berejiklian vows that the closure of the NSW-VIC border will be the “last of our lives”