Tradies and business owners who are trapped in Tweed are now planning a demonstration at the border crossing, demanding to be let back in for work.
Under Queensland’s tightened border rules, tradies aren’t considered essential unless they’re working on critical infrastructure.
Only essential workers such as doctors, nurses, defence works and aircrew are able to come through the checkpoints at the moment.
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Despite being considered essential under New South Wales’ regional lockdown restrictions, many say that police just laugh them off if they attempt to cross the border.
“It’s extremely frustrating,” Cole Albrecht from Platinum Stone told myGC ahead of the demonstration.
“Up until now, for 18 months, all construction has been essential. Scott Morrison is on the news saying that if you have a job – it’s essential.
“We have to pay back this debt, where’s all the tax money going to come when there’s no revenue coming in?
“I’ve stopped my tax payments, I won’t be paying a cent to tax until I’m back to work.
Platinum Stone is a Queensland business, but with 10 out of 12 staff trapped in the Tweed, Mr Albrecht says he’s now “crippled” in the face of wages, rents, mortgages.
“We’re talking with other businesses in the area who have similar issues and we’re trying to swap staff here and there, but it just can’t last forever and we can’t do it. It just won’t work.
“A $5,000 grant – that doesn’t even cover half of our wages. Not even close,” he said.
Mr Albrecht insists that those participating in the 10.00 am demonstration have no intentions to be violent, they just want to be heard.
“I think we’ll be close to the border. It won’t be a protest, it won’t be aggressive or violent, we’ll just be saying our piece,” Mr Albrecht said.
It’s not just tradies that are being kept out, teachers, childcare workers and hospitality workers are also not allowed over the border to work.
While the essential workers that are currently crossing will also have to have had their first vaccine dose by Friday if they want to continue working in the Sunshine State.