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Byron Shire
September 26, 2021

Byron Mayor questions lockdown extension

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COVID-19 update NSW, September 22

As Byron Bay and Tweed Shire enter on their first day of a snap lockdown, NSW recorded from 8 pm last night 1035 announced Premier Berejiklian.

The Mayor of Byron has declared that he was ‘dumbfounded’ by last week’s extension of the state-wide COVID lockdown.

Speaking during last Thursday’s council meeting, interim mayor Michael Lyon  said the extension of the lockdown was ‘a bitter blow for all of us here for so many reasons’.

Sama Balson, Cr Michael Lyon, Peter Westheimer, Jeannette Martin. Photo supplied

‘I want to really express disappointment. It leaves me a little dumbfounded to be honest,’ Cr Lyon said.

‘I certainly hope that we’re going to see a lot more financial support now that this has happened.’

Cr Lyon made the comments as he moved a motion for Council to join the push for a cross-border community zone around the Tweed local government area.

The motion was passed unanimously by Byron’s councillors.

‘I realise that if there was a border zone that included the Tweed and not Byron it would potentially mean that the current border issues were shifted onto us,’ he said.

‘But we also need to recognise that what’s going on in the Tweed-Coolangatta region is impacting a hell of a lot of people and a hell of a lot of businesses.

‘For the greater good I think we need to support our neighbour’s call in this.’

The move follows the bipartisan call for the establishment of a Tweed Cross Border Community Zone as a solution to combat the growing border crisis.

This call saw State and Federal MPs from The Greens, Labor and the Nationals join Tweed Council in demanding that a border zone be introduced.

Under their plan, a series of new checkpoints would replace the hard border control on the Queensland border at Coolangatta, Numinbah and Tomewin, allowing Tweed residents to return to work, hospitals and schools.

‘Should the initial pilot prove successful, the zone could be expanded to include the Byron, Ballina and Lismore LGAs and potentially be a model for other border or strategic regions in the state,’ Tweed Shire Mayor Chris Cherry said.

‘We understand this solution is out of the box and will create a new “cliff face” to the south of the Tweed, but we need to try something urgently,’ Cr Cherry said.

‘Statistics show this would be the best solution for the region and could allow the northern NSW economy to return to normality – as much as that is possible – in these current times.’

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  1. Regarding Byron sewage positive samples, the elephant in the room is that a lot of people live just out of Byron or further in the hills and they are on septic tanks. So they come down into Byron, Lennox and Ballina where we’ve had positive detections & use the public toilets and then go back up into the hills and then the detections disappear. MANY people who live in this area are also non-believers of Covid and are anti-Vaxxers, soif they had symptoms they wouldn’t come for testing.
    I think this needs to be addressed somehow.

  2. Spot on Amy. We DO have covid in the area, the lockdown is at least keeping it contained to specific areas for now. Who knows what will happen once we are able to move freely again.

  3. More support? With all the tradies double dipping with cashie jobs? Same for all the ‘consultants’, with the $750 a week on top of that?
    Who is going to pay for that? Stupid 9-5 employees?

  4. It’s about time they gave an exemption to the border closure to those of us who have taken the effort to get fully vaccinated. I haven’t been able to get to work for over a month!


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