The challenging issues surrounding the ‘border bubble’ are causing a lot of confusion and in some cases, headache and heartache for residents in the Tweed area, and last night Tweed Shire Councillors unanimously supported a mayoral minute proposed by Greens Mayor Katie Milne, by Liberal Councillor James Owen and Labor Councillor Reece Byrnes.
In light of advice that the Queensland border may be closed until Christmas owing to COVID -19 and the significant negative health, social and economic impacts this is currently having, it was decided that the Mayor will write to the NSW Premier and the Queensland Premier to request consideration of several options
1. Queensland considers amending the current style of restrictions to revert to the restrictions that were originally in place from March to July.
2. The current NSW and Queensland border bubble be extended to the southern border of Ballina Shire, NSW to encompass this critical economic zone.
3. The current NSW & Queensland border bubble be extended to north of Brisbane, Queensland.
4. That critical workers from Queensland outside the bubble areas be allowed into the NSW bubble areas, in-line with the current allowance for critical workers from NSW being allowed to service Queensland.
5. That the NSW Premier imposes intrastate travel restrictions to the border bubble areas, or at least from any NSW COVID-19 hotspot clusters, to protect rural and regional areas such as the Tweed Shire, maintain the integrity of the border bubble and give confidence to Queensland.
6. NSW commits resources to operate a Northern Rivers bubble checkpoint.
7. Consideration be given to providing increased specialist medical services to be provided in the area for northern NSW residents no longer able to be cared for in Queensland.
8. NSW assists residents with financial support to quarantine in Queensland if required for essential medical, work or other purposes.
9. Further financial support is provided for NSW residents and businesses negatively impacted by the border closures.
10. Queensland provides greater flexibility for compassionate grounds for NSW residents to be with their families in Queensland.
11. Thanks the respective Premiers for their assistance so far.
It remains to be seen what the response will be.
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