QUEENSLAND/NSW BORDER CLOSURE UPDATE

Monday, 10 August 2020

THIS morning I have written again to the Queensland Premier, imploring her government reconsider the current definition and scope of its ‘border zone’, which is hurting hundreds of local residents who reply on entering Queensland for basic and essential health and education services and for work and groceries.

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.

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 (8 August).

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.

Our region’s communities, which share the border with her state, have no active COVID-19 cases – and haven’t for three months now.

I thank the more than 150 border residents who have taken the time to email and phone me over the weekend to explain how this closure is already impacting their ability to conduct business and access to essential and emergency health and education services.

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.

For those who are having difficulties with the new ‘hard border’, please send me an email to northerntablelands@parliament.nsw.gov.au so I can continue to put them before the Queensland Government in the hope that some small changes will be made.

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