A border bubble between the Gold Coast and Tweed now appears dead in the water with the New South Wales government ruling out shifting border checkpoints to the Tweed River.
On Thursday morning, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warned that ‘time was ticking’ and it was almost too late for a bubble.
“Hopefully, we’ll hear by close of business tomorrow. We were trying to keep those communities together in that border bubble,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
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“Time is ticking. We’re seeing an escalation of cases in New South Wales and that’s very concerning.”
But in a further blow to communities on both sides of the border, New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro has confirmed moving borders will not be happening.
“Can I say to the communities in the Northern Rivers especially Tweed, if you move that border, that cliff edge becomes another border for another community. When you start dividing up New South Wales, you’ll cause more problems than actually solving solutions,” Mr Barilaro said.
“So for us, the Cross Border Commissioner James McTavish is working with the Queensland counterparts to make it easier to cross the border, especially for the critical supply chains, especially around food and of course, essential workers.
“So we’ll focus on that. The border cannot move and should not move because there would be unintended consequences that would actually have worse and more negative outcomes for the broader part of the Northern Rivers.”
It comes as Queensland prepares to tighten border restrictions again by further cutting the list of essential workers that are allowed to cross the border.
Details are expected to be finalised on Friday.
The ADF is also being brought in to to help man border checkpoints with 100 personnel set to be on the ground on the Gold Coast by next Wednesday.
The lockdown in the Tweed and other areas of regional New South Wales has been extended until August 28.