Tweed Mayor “confident” Federal Government will extend support

Residents in the Tweed have been left gobsmacked and heartbroken after finding out they would not be entitled to the extra Commonwealth disaster payments announced by the Prime Minister yesterday.

Scott Morrison on Wednesday toured the flood-ravaged town of Lismore, where he declared the northern NSW floods a national emergency.

He also declared Lismore, Richmond Valley and Clarence Valley as ‘catastrophe zones’, opening the door for more support for impacted residents.

Despite parts of the Tweed being heavily impacted by the floods, the extra support payments have not been extended to residents there.

Speaking to Sunrise on Thursday, Tweed Mayor Chris Cherry said that she was “shocked and disappointed” when she heard the news.

However, she is remaining optimistic the region will eventually be included.

“We’ve looked into it further and I do believe that the allocation has been based on the assessments that have been done to date,” Mayor Cherry said.

“Because the floodwaters were so high, because the scale of the damage to our road network is so big, I believe that a lot of the assessors have not been able to get in there to assess the damage”.

“I’m very confident that once those assessments have been completed and sent to the Prime Minister’s office, we will also be included in that”.

In the meantime, Mayor Cherry has pleaded for those who have short-term holiday homes, including Airbnbs, to up their properties for those who have lost everything.

“People are really really hurting,” she said.

“I think the best thing we can do for people right at this time is, I’m making a call out to all people who own short-term holiday lets in the north coast, please consider putting them on the permanent rental market so that these people who have lost everything can have homes.

“We need shelter right now”.

WATCH: Tweed locals band together to ferry supplies to Northern NSW flood victims

A bunch of Tweed locals have banded together to ferry much-needed supplies to the flood-ravaged Northern NSW community.

Kaitlyn Merrin is leading the charge, sorting donated items at the Ray Pascoe Park Jetty in Tweed Heads.

“We are helping the boats and the jetskis get supplies to anyone that needs them,” she told myGC.

“We are taking donations, coordinating it with the boats, getting it to the right people, contacting the right people on the other end and working with the SES.”

Aaron Graham has joined the army of jet skis and tinnies ferrying the supplies up the Tweed River.

“I’m just helping take some supplies to the unfortunate people that have lost everything,” he told myGC.

“We are giving them water, food, baby supplies and whatever they need.

“People up there are still in good spirits. They are just grateful to all these people who are lending a hand and helping out.”

Ms Merrin said locals who want to help can simply drop off donations at the Ray Pascoe Park Jetty.

“If you want to help, we need water, fuel, food, blankets, mattresses, anything we can take to Murwillumbah,” she said.

 

Arrest Woman

Pair charged over string of armed robberies in Qld and NSW

A man and woman have been charged over a string of armed robberies across Queensland and New South Wales after a number of gunpoint carjacking’s in northern NSW.

Police were initially called around 8.50pm on Saturday following reports a man, armed with a gun, approached a woman at an intersection in Banora Point and demanded the keys to her car.

When she refused, the man left with the woman, fleeing the scene in an allegedly stolen Porsche.

Around an hour later, police were told the Porsche entered a shopping centre carpark on Wharf Street, Tweed Heads, where the man allegedly threatened another man with a knife, before getting into the victim’s Hyundai Tucson.

The female passenger of the Porsche, who is also alleged to have had a gun, also entered the Hyundai, before the pair attempted to drive off.

However, Officers from Tweed Heads Police District and the Queensland Police Service’s Special Emergency Response Team were called to the scene.

It’s alleged the man crashed the stolen car into two police vehicles before he and the woman were eventually arrested.

The 26-year-old man was taken to Tweed Hospital for treatment for minor injuries.

The 20-year-old woman was taken to Tweed Heads Police Station, where she was charged with robbery while armed with dangerous weapon, robbery armed with offensive weapon, possess unauthorised pistol, and use offensive weapon to prevent police investigation.

The man was eventually released from hospital before he was charged with robbery while armed with dangerous weapon, robbery armed with offensive weapon, two counts of drive motor vehicle during disqualification period, possess unauthorised pistol, and use offensive weapon to prevent police investigation.

Police will further allege the pair were involved in a series of aggravated armed robberies in Queensland and NSW since Friday.

They were refused bail to appear before Tweed Heads Court on Monday.

Man charged with damaging Tweed Heads cop shop, patrol car

A man has been charged after allegedly damaging a Police car and the front glass door at Tweed Heads Police station.

The man was walking past the station on Wharf St around 1.40am on Friday before allegedly picking up a rock and throwing it at a marked Police car parked outside.

Both the front and rear windscreens of the Police vehicle were smashed.

The man is then accused of throwing the rock at the entrance to the Police station, smashing several glass panels.

PHOTO: NSW Police

Officers approached the man before he fled south along Wharf St.

He was arrested on Enid St following a short foot chase.

The 32-year-old has been charged with two counts of destroy or damage property and one count of resist Police officer in execution of duty.

He was refused bail to front Tweed Heads Local Court on Friday.

PHOTO: NSW Police

Gold Coast and Tweed bracing for nightmare traffic once border reopens

The community of Coolangatta and Tweed will again bear the brunt of another change to Queensland’s border conditions.

From Monday, Queensland’s border will again ‘reopen’ to fully vaccinated people from interstate hotspots, provided they get tested before coming over the border and then get tested again on day five.

Related article: Qld to reopen border early, border bubble to be in place

While residents within the border bubble won’t be required to get tested in order to cross over, they are already being warned of horror traffic conditions.

Tweed MP Geoff Provest is also urging locals to reconsider travelling in the first couple of days.

“The downside with anything, we’re anticipating fairly severe traffic congestion at our border checkpoints,” Mr Provest told myGC.

“One modelling I’ve seen it actually stems back down to Byron Bay.

“I’ve been assured by our NSW police they’ve been dealing with their Queensland counterparts in trying to minimise that.

“But really it’s good news – not ideal, but at least we can have some normality,” he said.

Queensland Police will continue stopping cars at the checkpoints to ensure everyone coming across is fully vaccinated, a measure that will stay in place until Queensland hits 90 percent double vaccination rate.

“I think with a high vaccination rate here in Tweed, we’re just about to hit 90 per cent, where Qld is at about 75 per cent double dose and as I said we haven’t had a community outbreak.

“So I think it’s a bit of an overkill at the moment. I really do.

“I know there’s concern about the new variant out there but we haven’t had community transmission here.

“We’re dependent, our front door is Queensland, our back door is New South Wales, many people work on both sides of the border and the heartbreak I’ve seen with families separated and businesses on the border – they’re doing it really tough and some of them won’t survive,” Mr Provest said.

Currumbin MP Laura Gerber agrees that the relief of the border finally opening quickly turned to panic about local traffic.

She’s suggesting a ‘local’s lane’ for the border community of Coolangatta and Tweed to alleviate pressure.

“We know that that happened with the truckies, the truckies got their own lane and their own checkpoint and that was operationalised but they could do that in reverse for border locals,” Ms Gerber told I

While Ms Gerber believes this is a sensible solution, she’s already sceptical about the state government even considering it.

“Oh look, if we get it, great, but honestly, they’ve (the state government) had enough time to get this sorted.

“But if it takes all the chaos and confusion in order for them to do something about then we’ll take whatever we can get on the border,” she said.

Queensland Police have acknowledged that it will once again be a difficult time for the border community.

Commissioner Katarina Carrol has told The Today Show that the traffic should subside after the first few days.

“We expect the delays to reduce dramatically.

“Those people know their areas very, very well and where to access probably better than the general public.

“But I think that is a great concession for that area. It really is one city whether you’re in northern New South Wales or southern Queensland, that bubble is one city.

“They’ve been used to this, they’ve cooperated and been exceptionally compliant.

“All they need now is to have a border pass and they can move freely around that area,” Commissioner Carrol told The Today Show. 

Related article: Qld to reopen border early, border bubble to be in place