Liz Levy, Suffolk Park
The scenes that were visited upon the small residential community of beachside Suffolk Park over Easter endangered our health to an extent that was just not good enough. Though abated somewhat, there is nothing to suggest this will not continue into the future.
If the COVID-19 measures put in place by the National Cabinet are designed to minimise travel and concentrated human contact, the cars (about half with Queensland number plates) crammed in beachside car parks and overflowing into Alcorn Street and other side streets shows their implementation near me to be an abysmal and dangerous failure.
In this we have been let down by every level of government.
Byron Shire Councillors closure of the Main Beach and Clarke’s Beach car parks and hangouts was commendable. Crazy scenes documented by the ABC at Broken Head Reserve car park led to its closure. The patently foreseeable consequence was the overwhelming of car parks, streets and beaches in those smaller areas with remaining vehicular accessibility.
This was in evidence on weekends well before Easter and before Queensland closed its beaches from the Gold Coast to Coolangatta.
At state government level we have the unconscionable actions of the Queensland government warning of strict new border controls – but these are a farce with a quick online application.
Those who hoped visitors to Byron Shire (supposedly a hotspot) might be deterred by 14 days quarantine should look again on the relevant designated list. It seems different definitions of ‘hot spot’ apply within different states. For Queensland look here.
As for our own State guardians, we have had Gladys remaining mute to this farce, silence from Ben Franklin and acquiescence from Tamara Smith.
Federal? As stated by the Chief Medical Officer, emergency powers enable localised measures over and beyond state boundaries where needed. I’m tired of every level passing off what’s happening in northern NSW as someone else’s responsibility. It seems we just don’t count.
Nor is it just communities like my small one affected. Every new infection, initially isolated, has multiplier potential – within the shire, south, west and to Brisbane and beyond.