Calls for ‘common sense’ approach to border closure

 

A RENEWED push has been launched for a locals-only border pass and thoroughfare as the Queensland-Greater Sydney border closure drags on.

Tweed councillor James Owen's calls for a lifeline for border residents comes after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk flagged the closure would last until "at least the end of January".

Vehicles on Wharf St at Tweed Heads lining up to get through the border. Picture: Jessica Lamb
Vehicles on Wharf St at Tweed Heads lining up to get through the border. Picture: Jessica Lamb

Outspoken Cr Owen, who's also a Tweed surf lifesaver and president of Kingscliff & District Chamber of Commerce, urged Ms Palaszczuk to implement a locals pass and either dedicated lanes or checkpoints.

His suggestion has been backed by border residents whose lives have been up-ended.

Locals-only checkpoints were in operation during last year's headache-inducing Queensland border closures.

Cr Owen said the locals-only checkpoints could be established on the M1 or Gold Coast Highway, or Ducat and Griffith streets.

Tweed Shire councillor James Owen.
Tweed Shire councillor James Owen.

"The implementation of this simple measure will greatly reduce the impact of the border closure on Tweed Shire residents going about their day-to-day lives as they traverse the border, for some multiple times a day," he said.

"Whilst I appreciate Queensland borders are a matter for the Queensland State Government, I'm asking for a common sense and compassionate approach to border checkpoints for our border community.

"With most people returning to work this week or next, and a return to school and community sports in the coming weeks, now is the time to prioritise a solution to alleviate the issues currently being experienced, and to ensure the safety, health, and wellbeing of our community.

The Ducat St locals-only checkpoint in operation last year. Picture: Jessica Lamb
The Ducat St locals-only checkpoint in operation last year. Picture: Jessica Lamb

"I implore the Queensland Premier to implement these measures as a matter of urgency."

Queensland Police have already opened a general checkpoint on Ducat Street.

Cr Owen, Tweed MP Geoff Provest and a range of other Tweed identities have repeatedly raised the impost of Queensland's border closures on intertwined border communities.

Traffic backed up on the M1. Picture: Richard Gosling
Traffic backed up on the M1. Picture: Richard Gosling

Gold Coast MPs, including Currumbin MP Laura Gerber, have also spoken of the stressful difficulties border residents have had completing day-to-day errands, attending medical appointments, travelling to work and ferrying children to school.

In response, the Queensland Government has repeatedly pointed to border closures as one of the first defences against coronavirus, crucial to safeguard the Sunshine State.

 

 

Originally published as Calls for 'common sense' approach to border closure


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