Byron mayor Simon Richardson has called for the council to lobby for a range of changes to ease the strain of the Queensland border closure.
Byron mayor Simon Richardson has called for the council to lobby for a range of changes to ease the strain of the Queensland border closure.

Council to ask for border bubble to be extended

BYRON councillors have called for the Queensland government to reconsider current border restrictions.

Mayor Simon Richardson asked for Byron Shire Council to take a number of actions during his Mayoral Minute at Thursday’s ordinary meeting.

Cr Richardson said he’d been working with other mayors and council general managers in recent weeks in a bid to establish “a regional response”.

The Northern Rivers Joint Regional Organisation had unanimously supported various lobbying efforts, he said.

Cr Richardson said he knew of a locally-based business owner whose Gold Coast-based business turns over some $4 million a year.

But he cannot access the business, which provides materials to “probably the top 10 building businesses on the Northern Rivers”, Cr Richardson said.

He said essential movements of Northern Rivers residents had been “severely curtailed” by Queensland’s current border closure.

The council will ask that the “border bubble” be extended to the southern border of the Ballina Shire to “encompass this critical shared economic and health zone”.

They will ask that critical workers who live outside of the bubble in Queensland be allowed into NSW to work, and to return home.

The motion also asks the NSW Government to provide increased medical services in parts of Northern NSW which have had decreased access as a result of the border closure.

The motion was passed unanimously.