Leaders reveal how border closure will affect CQ region
CENTRAL Queensland mayors are in full support of the decision to close Queensland borders.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday announced the Queensland border would be closed to New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory as of 1am on Saturday, August 8.
Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker told CQ News she supported the Queensland Government decision to close the NSW border.
"Our first priority is the protection of the health and welfare of our communities," Mayor Baker said.
"So far, we have been spared any cases of COVID-19 in our region and we want to keep it that way."
Mrs Baker said Council was constantly monitoring the risks associated with COVID-19.
"If the best health advice says protecting Queenslanders requires the NSW border to be closed - even though this will come at personal and economic cost to some people and sectors of the State economy - well, then that is what has to happen.
"We shall remain vigilant as this new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic plays out."
The decision came after Queensland's Chief Health Officer declared all of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory as coronavirus hot spots.
Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Kerry Hayes said while it was unfortunate to have to close the borders, the region was extremely resilient and resourceful.
"It is unfortunate, but the majority of Queenslanders, and indeed Australians, want to make sure that we do not revert to the situation that Victoria now finds itself in," he said.
"We have been extremely agile and adaptive to the interstate travel requirements and will do so again.
"We are an extremely resilient region and our economy has been more fortunate than most because of the continuity of the resource sector and strong agricultural commodity markets"
Mr Hayes said the border closure was a reminder to keep up the social distancing and hygiene practices constantly to avoid the risk of outbreaks.
The Premier said the hard border closure put Queenslanders first.
"I said that when the moment came, I would not hesitate," she said.
"That moment has arrived.
"Victoria hasn't improved as we hoped and I won't wait for New South Wales to get any worse.
"I will not risk our state's economic recovery by allowing COVID to spread. I will do everything I can to protect Queenslanders and the economy."
Only residents of border communities and essential workers, such as truck drivers, will be able to cross the border.