A range of leaders in northern New South Wales has come together to push for a border bubble, in a desperate bid to deal with Queensland’s crippling border rules.
They’re calling on the NSW government to agree to establish a ‘Cross Border Community Zone’ in the Tweed, before expanding to include surrounding local government areas if successful.
It comes despite the NSW state government ruling out shifting the border checkpoints south of the Tweed last week, a plan supported by the Queensland government.
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The group includes Tweed Mayor Chris Cherry and Tweed MP Geoff Provest, along with MPs from Ballina, Lismore and Ballina MLC Catherine Cusack.
Speaking on behalf of the leaders – which includes Tweed MP Geoff Provest, along with MPs from Ballina, Lismore and Ballina MLC Catherine Cusack.- Mayor of Tweed Shire Chris Cherry says the restrictions are having a dire impact on thousands of people.
“We cannot sit by and watch our communities crumble like this,” Mayor Cherry said.
“We have to work together to forge a solution that works for the benefit of all – while ensuring we maintain a COVID-Safe community moving forward.
“The combination of lockdown and hard border closure means our residents and businesses are experiencing extremely harsh restrictions.
“Some business owners are unable to physically access their own premises, the construction industry is completely shut down and there are no ‘buddy bubbles’ even for immediate family members and partners.”
“We understand this solution is out of the box and will create a new ‘cliff face’ to the south of the Tweed, but we need to try something urgently.
“Statistics show this would be the best solution for the region and could allow the northern NSW economy to return to normality – as much as that is possible – in these current times,” Cr Cherry said.