11.5 C
Byron Shire
June 30, 2022

Calls for Qld government to come to the construction table

Latest News

Main Arm Upper school are excited to be going ‘back to school’

It has been hard for many young people as they have managed the impacts of COVID over the last few years but for students at Main Arm Upper Public School the flood has meant they've been out of their school for almost half a year.

Other News

Lismore’s latest flood fighting asset arrives

The NSW State Emergency Service’s first custom-built High Clearance Vehicle, known as a Unimog, has arrived at its new permanent home of Lismore.

Diner Lennox – true hospitality

The Diner Lennox is a true community-based restaurant run by a couple of guys who love hospitality, and get...

Fooling no one

Danny Wakil isn’t fooling anyone (Letters, 15 June). He is obviously pro-Israel, but his tone and talking points belie...

Byron Shire resident fined $60,000 for tree clearing

Council staff say a Koonyum Range resident was fined $60k for land clearing/ removing trees, and $10k for an unauthorised building.

Byron Council releases data on flood-affected biz

The first official data has been released following the devastating February 28 floods.

Ballina calls for more SES funding – again

The Ballina Shire Council has agreed to prioritise upgrading of its State Emergency Services base and to call for a new shire-wide incident control centre.

As Queensland holds firm on its hard border closure many businesses in Northern NSW are crying out for help from the NSW government. Labor is calling for the NSW Liberal-National party led government to provide $45 million COVID-19 grant program while the Master Builders Association (MBA) is calling for the Queensland Premier to come to the negotiation table.

The recent Lismore City Council survey about the hard border closure with Queensland revealed that it has adversely affected 98 per cent of the more than 300 people who responded.

‘The biggest impact was on families, with 69 per cent saying the border closure meant they could not see their close relatives, followed by 38 per cent nominating access to medical service and 25 per cent nominating employment,’ according to a recent press release from the council.

Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin urged Deputy Premier John Barilaro more than a week ago to extend the program, which he announced on a visit to Albury, to northern businesses doing it tough.

Now she says the delay in implementing a package shows an ‘unresponsive’ Berejiklian government has little regard for northern border communities.

‘These are NSW residents and the NSW government is responsible for them and to them,’ Ms Saffin said.

‘Regardless of which government made the decision to close the Queensland-NSW border, the negative impacts on struggling local businesses on the Northern Rivers and Northern Tablelands are no different to those experienced by businesses near the NSW-Victorian border.’

Ms Saffin called for the program to cover all businesses located in the Local Government Areas within the bubble zone, including Tweed Shire, Kyogle and Tenterfield Shire. She said it should also be extended to other businesses in the Lismore City, Richmond Valley, Byron Shire, Ballina Shire and Clarence Valley Local Government Areas.

Ms Saffin stressed that she was asking for extra targeted support for businesses over and above pre-existing support measures.

This program would help with local businesses’ day-to-day costs, keep their doors open and keep people in their jobs,” she said.

The NSW Business Chamber, representing businesses across the Northern Rivers and New England North West, the Master Builders Association of NSW Northern Rivers and the Northern Rivers Joint Organisation all support what I am calling for,’ Ms Saffin said.

Last Thursday a meeting called by the Queensland and NSW Master Builders Association (MBA) in Tweed Heads saw the Cross Border Commissioner James McTavish and MBA executive director Brian Seidler addressing the 150 strong crowd. The NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian then filled in for her deputy, who was unable to attend, to listen to concerns for the industry who say they have close to $200m worth of projects that are grinding to a halt.

‘There is significant economic impact on the industry,’ said president of the Tweed Masters Builders Association, Peter Leotta.

‘There is around $150m worth of residential projects and approximately $50m of council tenders have stalled or have to be retendered,’ he told Echonetdaily.

Mr Leotta highlighted that the impact is not just on the building industry but is now impacting the broader economy as people are unable to get into their homes and have to balance unexpected increases to the time they are renting and their mortgages this reduces their capacity to spend.

‘One of the recurring pieces of feedback was that there were so many Gold Coast companies right down to mum and dad tradespeople and they felt the NSW premier felt more care for their industry than their own premier did,’ said Mr Leotta.

He said that the NSW premier had committed to take the issues to cabinet the next day yet neither the Queensland or NSW letters and emails from both the MBA and people in the industry had even been acknowledged by the Queensland government. However, following a live stream to Channel 9 during the event ‘we received an email from Qld Premiers office acknowledging the emails and letters,’ said Mr Leotta.

‘The Queensland MBA have not even bee able to get Queensland premier to come and sit at the table. We are trying to do everything we can – please come to the table to communicate with the industry who are prepared whatever we need to do to get the industry moving. It is more than just the industry, people are unable to get into their homes and are being are in high distress and they are doing it really tough.’

Put your money on the table say Labor

Labor Shadow Minister for the North Coast Adam Searle said the delay demonstrated that the National Party had simply forgotten about struggling communities in the northern border region.

‘While we welcome the $45 million package for the southern border region, and recognise the difficulties being faced by communities there on both sides of the border, John Barilaro and the Nationals need to explain why the same consideration has not been given to communities on the north coast,’ Mr Searle said.

‘The north coast communities are clearly facing significant challenges and the NSW Government should be providing support and solutions.

‘When will the Deputy Premier answer calls from the community and provide this assistance to those on the northern border?’


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

2 COMMENTS

  1. How can the whole of NSW be declared a hotspot by Queensland? This is devastating to people in the Gold Coast and Northern Rivers. There are no cases in 95% of the NSW geographic areas, including Northern Rivers. As soon as there are, shut things down then. But until then, put back the controls that were in place a month ago.

    The Queensland premier and politicians are prepared to sacrifice livelihoods and businesses so that they can be more likely to save their own jobs. That’s corruption in my view.

  2. Yes Duncan – ‘blind Freddie or Freda’ could see the test-case
    being run by the Qld premier. Sadistic control is all about the
    upcoming election & to hell with NSW geographical areas &
    people.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Lismore Lantern Parade – Vale John Lush

Once again the community of Lismore came together to celebrate with the Lantern Parade on June 25.

Celebrating NAIDOC Week in the Northern Rivers 

The Northern Rivers encompasses the Bundjalung, Gumbaynggirr and Yaegl nations with celebrations for NAIDOC taking place up and down the coast. 

Man charged following break and enter – Casino

A man has been charged following an investigation into an alleged break and enter at Casino.

Locals tix on offer for Writers Fest

Byron Writers Festival is again offering Sunday locals’ passes, supported for the third time by partners, Stone & Wood.