Local, state and federal government reps are hoping that the NSW Government can come to the border party with a call for the establishment of a NSW/QLD border region and a travel declaration pass within that region that lasts for 14 days on both sides of the border.
On the Queensland side, New South Wales border zone residents are required to complete a travel declaration to enter Queensland, and since last week, this pass has been valid for 14 days.
Things are different on the NSW side of the border. Currently, the NSW entry Border Pass requires that a new form be completed every 24 hours.
Tweed Shire Councillor James Owen said the Tweed Shire and Gold Coast communities are intrinsically linked. ‘Many people cross the border multiple times a day, for a variety of reasons.’
Cr Owen says that going about their daily lives for many, is much harder than it needs to be. ‘Our border community is required to have a QLD Travel Declaration Pass, issued by the QLD Government for travel to QLD and which lasts for 14 days, and a NSW Entry Declaration Form, issued by the NSW Government and which is required each time they enter NSW – but not more than one per calendar day.
‘Over the weekend I’ve been inundated by Tweed Shire residents who are confused about the different passes and declarations required to cross the border.
‘There is also a great deal of frustration that the NSW pass only lasts for one day.
‘We don’t want to have to fill out a form every day to get to work, medical appointments, sports, and catching up with family and friends.’
State Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin confirmed she has directly lobbied NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard and Cross Border Services Commissioner James McTavish on the issue, and it is being reviewed.
‘It is a tough ask for New South Wales residents who work and live in border communities,’ said Ms Saffin.
MP Geoff Provest and Premier Gladys Berejiklian must urgently fix their confusing debacle
Local MP Justine Elliot has called on Tweed MP Geoff Provest and Premier Gladys Berejiklian to urgently fix their confusing debacle with the NSW entry border passes.
‘This bungled bureaucratic nightmare has caused mass confusion amongst North Coast residents. Locals are outraged that the NSW Government has brought in these confusing measures that make their lives even harder.
‘Locals who cross the border for work still have to fill in a NSW border entry pass every single day. Compare that with the QLD pass which lasts for two weeks. It’s just ridiculous.
‘The NSW Government must listen to our community on the North Coast and I’m calling on Gladys Berejiklian, Geoff Provest and the Liberals and Nationals to see sense and extend the NSW border passes so that they last for 14 days, not 24 hours.
NSW Government plunging our region into more chaos
‘On top of Scott Morrison’s failure to provide enough vaccines and his failure to deliver quarantine facilities we now have the NSW Government plunging our region into more chaos with their bungled NSW entry border passes.’
Cr Owen says that we had a border bubble last year and we need something similar now – and as soon as possible. ‘Life in our border community has never been harder or more confusing. We need clear, concise and consistent information that is easy to understand.’
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