CALLS to give agriculture-based businesses exemptions to cross the Queensland and Victorian borders are growing, ahead of what is expected to be a bumper harvest for the region.
The calls come after the Queensland border was closed to NSW on Saturday and the Victorian border was closed last month.
Recent rainfall and good growing conditions have several agriculture businesses ready for a surge in trade, but many hold fears they will not be allowed to cross the border.
One such business is Moree's National Ag, with owner Colin Underwood saying the restrictions had many businesses owners feeling uneasy.
"To be honest, there are many companies and businesses that heavily rely on cross-border trading and these restrictions have just made that very difficult," Mr Underwood said.
"Personally, I don't think there has been enough clarification about who can cross the border and for what reason.
"I think with the season shaping up the way it is and so many businesses recovering from the drought, it would be common sense to allow exemptions."
Tamworth-based Livestock, Bulk and Rural Carriers Association (LBCRA) secretary Wade Lewis echoed Mr Underwood's sentiments, saying many freight companies were hesitant to send drivers interstate.
"The unknown of getting across the borders is causing a lot of problems managing freight tasks because companies don't know if the person they send interstate will be able to make it back," Mr Lewis said.
"It's not just our industry either, I really feel for harvesting contractors and businesses reliant on crossing the border for work.
"So many of those companies are based in places like Moree and Goondiwindi for example, and I think they would be severely hampered if they were restricted from crossing the border.
"That's why we are calling on the governments to create a uniformed policy, so that everyone knows what is expected of them, regardless of which state they are going into."
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson said while such concerns hadn't "come across my desk" he supported the notion of providing exemptions to businesses in the agriculture sector.
"I would certainly hope that the agricultural sector, being part of an essential service, would be given the utmost importance," he said.
"Given they are providing food, clothing and things like that, they should be treated with the utmost importance."
NSW Agriculture Minister and Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said he had written to the Queensland Premier to reconsider the current definition and scope of its border zone.
"While my primary request is that consideration be given to including North Star in the Queensland-NSW border postcode zone, I am also seeking the border zone be reconsidered along local government area boundaries rather than postcodes - specifically to include the Moree Plains, Gwydir, Inverell and Tenterfield local government areas," Mr Marshall said.
"So far, I am yet to receive a response to urgent representations made to Premier Palaszczuk last Friday, requesting the designated border zone be changed prior to restrictions coming into effect on Saturday.
"While I absolutely understand and respect the Queensland Government's desire to protect its state and citizens from the deadly virus, our region is not Victoria.
"It is clear the actions of the Queensland Government will also needlessly impact on many agricultural businesses, which are fast approaching harvest and are riding on getting an income this year following the prolonged years of drought."