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’.
‘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.’