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Byron Shire
April 24, 2021

Lismore survey shows community suffering from border closure

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Health, Family and work are the main reasons people want to cross the border.

Lismore council have been conducting an online survey about the restrictions which has seen the New South Wales/Queensland border closed.

More than 220 people who have been affected by the border closure with Queensland have already completed the survey by  since it was posted online only five days ago.

Lismore City Mayor Isaac Smith said the response rate has been extremely strong and gives you an indication of the hardship the decision by the Queensland Government to close the border is having on border communities.

All of those who have responded have been affected in some way, and many of their stories are heart-wrenching. The one takeaway from this survey so far is that much more thought needs to be put into the possible far-reaching repercussions of slamming closed this busy border.

Mr Smith said while council understands the need to move quickly to stop the spread of COVID-19, all governments need to think a lot harder about the impact their decisions are having on local communities.

Many reasons given in survey

Most of the comments are of a medical nature but others are from people whose work and family are impacted. Some of the comments from responders include; my business has suffered financially directly as a result of the QLD border closure; I have two step children whose biological parent lives In Queensland, because of the closure of the border, they cannot visit; there is too much ambiguity and a lack of communication in the QLD health system to get a straight answer. There is also little opportunity to discuss or manage your application once you have applied; NSW is not just Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong. We are not a hotspot but we are being treated like we are; I live in Queensland and need to visit my elderly parent in Lismore on a regular basis. The mental stress is not good for either of us. The Queensland Government is out of control on this, and ; we also can’t go into Queensland for work which is affecting our livelihood.

I encourage everyone who has been affected by the border closure and have not yet completed the survey, to do so before it closes on September 4,’ said Cr Smith.

The results of the completed survey will be provided to our local State Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin, the Northern Rivers Joint Organisation of Councils and the NSW State Government.’

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