Extend southern border rescue package to northern communities, Saffin says

MP Janelle Saffin.
MP Janelle Saffin.

Labor has stepped up its call for the Berejiklian Government to match its southern NSW $45 million COVID-19 grant program with a similar package for struggling communities in the state's north.

Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin urged Deputy Premier John Barilaro to extend the program, which he announced on a flying visit to Albury, to northern businesses doing it tough.

Now she says the delay in implementing a package shows an "unresponsive" Berejiklian Government has little regard for northern border communities.

"These are NSW residents and the NSW Government is responsible for them and to them," Ms Saffin said.

"Regardless of which government made the decision to close the Queensland-NSW border, the negative impacts on struggling local businesses on the Northern Rivers and Northern Tablelands are no different to those experienced by businesses near the NSW-Victorian border."

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Ms Saffin called for the program to cover all businesses located in the Local Government Areas within the bubble zone, including Tweed Shire, Kyogle and Tenterfield Shire. She said it should also be extended to other businesses in the Lismore City, Richmond Valley, Byron Shire, Ballina Shire and Clarence Valley Local Government Areas.

She stressed that she was asking for extra targeted support for businesses over and above pre-existing support measures.

"This program would help with local businesses' day-to-day costs, keep their doors open and keep people in their jobs," she said.