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Byron Shire
August 1, 2021

NSW Cross Border Commissioner replaced

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New Cross Border Commissioner and decorated former Murrumbidgee SES controller James McTavish. Photo AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Hans Lovejoy

The replacement of the NSW Cross Border Commissioner has sparked accusations of a failed policy from state Labor candidate for Tweed, Ron Goodman.

When it took office, the state coalition appointed the commissioner in an effort to resolve long-running issues between the state borders such as time zone differences, payroll tax differences, apprenticeship training and guardianship legislation.

Former Glen Innes Severn mayor Steve Toms had been employed in the role since 2012, but last week was replaced by James McTavish, who has strong ties with the SES and is a decorated former military officer.

And Mr Toms’s achievements in that time appear fairly light: according to www.business.nsw.gov.au, he embarked on a ‘comprehensive listening tour’ and then released a 2013 Business Plan with a follow up in 2014 that identified 150 issues.

But Labor’s Goodman says the replacement is a ‘National Party trick to hide the mismanagement and waste.’

‘$700,000 wasted’

He took aim at Tweed Nationals MP Geoff Provest, saying he ‘wasted more than $700,000 on the Cross Border Commission which has not delivered a single reform.

‘Geoff Provest cannot hide from the fact that he has failed to deliver on daylight saving, payroll tax differences between NSW and Qld and a whole raft of issues that affect businesses and individuals in our region.’

Tenterfield Shire mayor Peter Petty told The Tenterfield Star (Fairfax) that he had mixed feelings about the appointment. ‘I’m disappointed and surprised but council will be happy to work with the new man,’ he told the paper.


Photo AAP Image/Alan Porritt

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  1. What a waste of money, time and effort. Queenslander’s and New South Welshman will never agree on anything. You only have to look at the Gold Coast Airport with the Taxi debacle that is mostly located in NSW side of the border yet owned and operated by QLD, giving the Gold Coast Taxi’s the lion share of the business and not allowing taxi’s from NSW to line up with QLD taxi’s.
    This is just one issue amongst many and yet Geoff Provest can’t convince the LNP of QLD to support cross border issues.
    What’s worse is that the NSW government may have the intention of leasing land to the Gold Coast Airport to improve the ILS landing.
    One has to ask Geoff why are we bending over backwards for QLD? Is the funds coming from NSW for this commission?

  2. Cross Border ! B..dy hell ! The archaic,colonial state system should be abolished to stop this nonsense! Australia has 22million people and 8 States and Territories with EIGHT Premiers/Chief Ministers. California has 40million with ONE Governor.


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