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How the Victoria-NSW border closure will change the way we think about states

The Victoria-NSW border has closed to all Melburnians, and will close to all Victorians at 11.59pm tonight, in a bid to contain Victoria’s growing COVID-19 outbreak.

It’s the first time the border has been closed in more than 100 years.

Political geographer at Macquarie University, Professor Andrew Burridge, said the “unprecedented” closure will “lead us to rethink our borders”.

“This is a point when we will probably come to realise much more clearly just how integrated our communities are and how vital it is that they’re able to cross,” he told Kate Stevenson and Stephen Quartermain, filling in for Ross and John.

“The concern is really for sometimes life of death matters or everyday needs that we have, particularly around healthcare, that need to be resolved.”

Albury–Wodonga will have a particularly serious problem, as the twin towns share one hospital.

“The hospital is a particular example of just how integrated our borders communities are and how arbitrary that line is, given that health services are shared between the two towns,” Professor Burridge said.

He said it’s possible the crisis could even lead to a rethink of state borders.

“Perhaps we reflect on whether the border itself, which is a fairly arbitrary line, in most instances, is actually the best way that we form these boundaries when trying to control the virus.”

Press PLAY below for the full interview.

NSW shuts Victorian border due to coronavirus spike