No special treatment for Coolangatta/Tweed community with borders

A Gold Coast MP has lashed out at the state government’s plan to reopen the borders, saying it’s nowhere near the certainty needed for the struggling border community.

Queensland released its border reopening plan yesterday, essentially locking in December 17 as the date when fully vaccinated people will be allowed to freely travel into the state.

While that date has already been criticised as being too far away, local leaders are also frustrated that the Coolangatta/Tweed community appears to have been forgotten about once again.


ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT


The Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has confirmed on Sunrise this morning that there will be no special rules made for the Tweed community to be able to come back sooner.

We will allow that on December 17. You can come in by road and by air then, but not before then,” she told Sunrise this morning.

“We just have to make sure that we left our vaccination rates and we believe that the 80% doubled vaccination is a good threshold, we would like to see higher.

“It is not harsh because Queensland is a big place. They would have to travel through multiple towns as the multiple spots along the way.

“What we have seen with freight drivers is they are the largest number of people who have COVID at the moment.

“They come in and do multiple stops in Queensland. I make no apology for that.

“It is going to be tough, but they just have to wait a little bit longer and people will be reunited,” she said.

Currumbin MP Laura Gerber says there’s just been such a lack of detail around what will happen to the southern Gold Coast.

“The community is not super happy with it (the border reopening announcement), because it doesn’t address what’s going to happen with our border community on the border,” Ms Gerber told myGC.

“There’s been no detail on what will happen with the border checkpoints, what will happen with the border community, whether there’s going to be different restrictions that will allow the border community to come back together.

“There have been no details in relation to if there – when there – are further lockdowns, because there will still be lockdowns, what that will look like for businesses and individuals.

“There is still a lot of details missing from the plan, we’ve still got a bit of work to do as Opposition to push the government to release a plan that actually people the certainty that they’re after,” Ms Gerber said.

While the state government has put the onus back on people who live in regional areas of the state to come forward and get vaccinated as soon as possible, so that we could potentially reach the 70 and 80 per cent targets sooner, which could mean reopening earlier.

The Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate is urging the community to get the jab as soon as possible so that businesses can get back to normal sooner.

“If you’re going to get vaccinated, and get to the 80 per cent so that our border can open, you might as well do it early.

“Because you’re going to get vaccinated anyway, why wait until the last minute?

“If we can get to 80 before the 17th of December, it’ll just help our small businesses and family businesses and you’ll help our community,” Mr Tate told myGC.

Currumbin MP Laura Gerber says Queenslanders should not be held accountable for our lagging vaccine rates when the government could have put forward targets ages ago.

“I’m disappointed that we haven’t had these targets to work towards sooner.

“I’m disappointed that it’s been put back on Queesnaldners as their fault that we’re not reaching our vaccination target.

“There were so many mixed messages put out by the state government initially about the vaccine, and then to not have targets for people to work towards, I think has been compounded that the fact that people have not taken up the vaccine like New South Wales,” Ms Gerber said.