Businesses in the Tweed/Coolangatta community are drying up fast and their only hope at some relief has been dashed by a local member.
The idea of moving border checkpoints south to the other side of the Tweed Shire is quickly gaining ground, which the Queensland government said it had proposed to New South Wales.
They’re yet to hear back from an overwhelmed NSW government, but LNP Member for Currumbin Laura Gerber says it will never happen.
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“That is a complete political toy,” Ms Gerber told myGC ahead of a community meeting this morning.
“It was raised by the Labor government 18 months ago – moving the border south, and the reason it didn’t go ahead, is because the Labor government wouldn’t help pay for the infrastructure to move the checkpoint.
“It’s complete political grandstanding and it’s giving this community false hope.
“I want real solutions, I want solutions that are going to actually help these people and these businesses,” Ms Gerber said.
It comes as the Queensland government prepares to tighten restrictions even further, and even bring in ADF troops to help patrol the checkpoint.
Related article: Queensland calls in ADF troops to help with NSW border control
However, it hasn’t even been a week since teachers, childcare workers, tradies and hospitality workers were banned from entering Queensland, and the community is struggling harder than ever.
“It’s killing us,” Russel Gibson from Coffee Club in Coolangatta told myGC.
“We’re on the border, we’ve got no people here.
“No people coming through to Coolangatta. The place is dead. It’s the worst I’ve ever seen it,” he said.
Business owners within the Coolangatta community have come together this morning, to try and work on solutions together, with hopes fading fast that governments will help.
“The biggest problem is that some of these businesses are falling through the cracks, they don’t fit the Queensland government support package because it isn’t a lockdown for them,” Ms Gerber said.
“This is the impact of border closures.
“Their businesses are closed because they don’t have staff or they can’t access the business themselves, and they’re on their knees.
“So I’ve brought the community together today so that we can talk about it and this is more about trying to get the community together to support each other because the heartbreak on these peoples faces is gutwrenching,” Ms Gerber said.