The Office of Cross-Border Commissioner:
Is an advocate for cross-border communities, businesses and organisations
helps identify, analyse and resolve cross-border issues
works closely with local, state and federal colleagues.
The Office of the Cross Border Commissioner works within the Department of Regional NSW.
The Cross-Border Commissioner is James McTavish, appointed in 2014.
To keep up to date with Office of the Cross-Border Commissioner News, see our News pages and subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.
You can contact us with any feedback, enquiries or concerns.
Also see our Strategic documents.
About NSW border communities
New South Wales shares its borders with four jurisdictions:
These border communities provide outstanding lifestyle choices. They're attractive places to live, work, play and invest. Our border communities include more than 620,000 NSW residents.
People living in border areas regard themselves as one community. They may live on one side of the border, in one state, but their everyday lives cross both sides of the border.
Residents often need to comply with rules or policies set by two or more states or territories. This can make day-to-day activities more difficult, and restrict their access to work opportunities, investment, and facilities.
There are 29 NSW local councils that sit along a border. These share strong social and economic ties with their neighbouring state or territory.
Also see Cross-border agreements and issues.
Our vision and programs
Our vision is to facilitate:
- equitable access and opportunities between border and non-border communities, and
- seamless service delivery for people and businesses in cross-border communities.
Also see Strategic documents.
Our office is committed to working across all levels of government to help resolve any challenges for border communities.
We'll continue to advocate for cross-border communities, advise the NSW Government, and champion better cross-border outcomes for people, businesses, and government agencies.
The Office of the Cross-Border Commissioner works to:
provide advice on cross-border travel and restrictions during major events, particularly in response to emergency and biosecurity issues
improve access to and delivery of essential services
enhance investment in cross-border communities, and
improve alignment of border policies and regulations.
Cross-Border Community Survey 2023
Do you live, work or play in a NSW cross-border community? Have your say about cross-border issues.
The Office of the Cross-Border Commissioner is conducting our annual survey. We’d like to hear about the cross-border issues that are important to you, and your experiences interacting with our Office.
The feedback you provide will help us improve how we work with you and will help guide our priorities in working with other government agencies to solve cross-border issues.
Working with the community and with all levels of government on both sides of the border to help resolve any challenges for border communities is at the heart of what we do – we exist to serve you.
We know that you are often asked to complete surveys, but this should take no more than 10 minutes to complete, and your perspective is essential to our work. It is important evidence to tell your story when we talk to people who make decisions that affect your lives.
This survey is open now and will close at 11:59pm AEST Sunday 14 May 2023.
You can start the survey by clicking on the link below. Alternatively, you can paste the URL into a new browser window.
Cross-Border Community Survey 2023
The NSW Office of the Cross-Border Commissioner assists with the issues that impact people who live or work near a NSW border. If there is a particular cross-border issue affecting your community that you’d like to discuss or if you need assistance with this survey, please contact us at email@example.com.
Our previous community engagement includes:
Cross-Border Stakeholder Survey 2022- open from 23 May to 14 June 2022. The survey findings will inform, shape and coordinate the way the Office advocates on cross-border issues.
Impact of COVID-19 border closures and restrictions on cross-border communities. We recorded the experiences of cross-border communities from 2020 to 2022 as a result of the response to COVID-19 health directions, travel restrictions and border closures. We worked with thousands of people and businesses in cross-border communities during this time, and because of this talked to a range of people to ensure their experiences were recorded. This will inform our ongoing work and contribute to the advice we provide to improve the NSW Government's consideration of cross-border issues and decision making, particularly related to major events.
We welcome feedback, inquiries and submissions from cross-border communities.
- Email us direct at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Write to us at: 1 Monaro Street, Queanbeyan NSW 2620
- You can also follow us on LinkedIn and subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.
If you have a legal issue, the NSW Government provides a free government phone service for legal information, referrals, and in some cases, advice for people who have a legal problem in NSW. For more information, go to the LawAccess NSW website or phone LawAccess NSW on 1300 888 529.
Meet our team
NSW Cross-Border Commissioner since mid-2014, James McTavish is based in Wagga Wagga. He previously held appointments in the NSW SES and Australian Regular Army. This saw him living and working across borders and in all Australian states. He is an enthusiastic but frequently unsuccessful fisherman. He enjoys spending time outdoors with his family gardening, camping or working on their small farm at Jugiong.
Emma Watts joined the Office of the Cross-Border Commissioner as Assistant Commissioner in January 2020, six weeks before state borders started closing for the first time in a century. Emma has more than 20 years of experience working with industry organisations, government and not-for-profits on public policy, strategic engagement and communications. She has specialised in high profile and transformative policy initiatives for energy, climate change, and water. Based in Queanbeyan, she was raised in north-west New South Wales. She is an established practitioner of the art of tsundoku.
More about our cross-border work
- Strategy documents including Strategic Plan 2020-2025 - Office of the Cross-Border Commissioner
- VIC-NSW cross-border agreement
- VIC-NSW MOU cross-border collaboration
- QLD-NSW cross-border agreement
- ACT-NSW cross-border agreement
- ACT-NSW Memorandum of Understanding
- ACT-NSW MOU annual report
- ACT-NSW Priority Focus Area Plans
- ACT-NSW Ongoing cross-border issues
- ACT-NSW Work List (cross border)