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Byron Shire
January 28, 2021

Problems at the border for hospital staff and patients

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Both the Health Services Union (HSU) and a Tweed Shire Councillor are urging the New South Wales and the Queensland governments to make border crossing easier for hospital staff.

The HSU says the  Queensland Government must ensure efficient border crossings for all health and hospital workers by setting up dedicated checkpoints and deeming the entire health workforce as essential workers.

The hasty border closure announced by the Queensland Government has caused huge delays in getting to work for all manner of hospital workers, including paramedics, warsdpeople, security officers and allied health professionals.

HSU Secretary, Gerard Hayes said the Queensland Government had to avoid the mistakes of the last border closure.

‘At the moment, our members are waiting hours at border checkpoints just to do their job or get home to their family at night. This is unacceptable and unworkable.

‘Having overlooked the broader hospital workforce previously, we sincerely hope the Queensland Government deems all hospital workers essential this time around.

Essential workers

‘Paramedics, wardspeople, security, cleaning and allied health are absolutely critical to the proper running of a hospital. This needs to be recognised by the Queensland Government.’

Tweed Shire Councillor James Owen says he has written to Gladys Berejiklian and Annastacia Palaszczuk to request better access to Tweed Heads Hospital .

‘I write in relation to the difficulties being experienced regarding access to and from the Tweed Heads Hospital resulting from traffic gridlock due to the re-establishment of NSW/QLD border checkpoints,’ said Cr Owen in his letter.

‘I am writing to request that the NSW and QLD State Governments work together to implement, as a matter of urgency, a priority dedicated access, to and from, the Tweed Heads Hospital for patients, staff, people seeking treatment, and emergency service vehicles.

‘The Tweed Heads Hospital serves residents of both NSW and QLD who reside in our border community. If border checkpoints are going to be in place long term, a solution to alleviate these issues, and to ensure the safety, health, and wellbeing of the community, must be prioritised.

Gerard Hayes said the union is prepared to be reasonable and accept that these are trying and difficult circumstances. ‘However, this shouldn’t be too hard to get right.’

 


Recent stories, information and updates regarding COVID-19

Queensland Health issues public health alert

Queensland Health is asking anyone who has arrived from New Zealand since 14 January, including on green corridor flights, to get tested and quarantine until they receive a negative test result.

0

Keep free parking at LBH – HSU and Saffin

The Health Services Union has called on Lismore City Council to reconsider a decision to cancel free all-day street parking at Lismore Base Hospital.

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Access to capital critical for small business

Many businesses and in particular small business, have been really struggling under the weight of COVID-19 and with the rollback of Jobkeeper, things have just gotten tougher.

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Meaningful lockdown more satisfying than busyness

New research shows people who pursue meaningful activities – things they enjoy doing – during lockdown feel more satisfied than those who simply keep themselves busy

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UK variant of COVID-19 linked to hotel cleaner

Queensland Health says that the partner of the quarantine hotel cleaner who tested positive to the UK variant of COVID-19 on 7 January 2021, has also tested positive to COVID-19.

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Former MLC critical of councillors in NYE aftermath

Former Greens MLC Ian Cohen has lashed out at councillors for their lack of preparation for NYE.

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Tweed mayor supports Brisbane lockdown

The Mayor of Tweed Chris Cherry says she supports the swift action of the Queensland Government in introducing a 3-day lockdown of the Greater Brisbane area in response to a COVID-19 case.

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The Greater Brisbane lockdown restrictions

Queensland Health has clarified transit restrictions in place from 6pm last night (Friday, 9 January), limiting incoming and outgoing movements from the Greater Brisbane Area.

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Three day lockdown for Greater Brisbane announced

The Queensland Government has announced that Greater Brisbane will go into lockdown for three days, while contact tracers work to ensure the UK strain of COVID-19 is not circulating in the community.

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PM Morrison on vaccine rollout plan

The Australian Government has again brought forward the proposed rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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