Tens of thousands in limbo with border closure


TENS of thousands of people living near the NSW-Queensland border are in limbo as the State Government plans an unprecedented border lockdown.

About 60,000 vehicles use the Tugun bypass to cross the border every day, an indication of the sheer number of people likely to be affected by any border restrictions.

More than 10,000 people either work or study at the commercial precinct straddling the border, which includes Gold Coast Airport and Southern Cross University's northern campus.

At South Tweed, Perry Homes is one of hundreds of border businesses employing staff from both Queensland and NSW.

The building firm's sales and operations manager, Luke Cini commutes from Runaway Bay each day, and said he did not know how any border lockdown would affect his work after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced it on Twitter yesterday without further details.

"It's a moving target at the moment because we really don't know what it's going to look like or what the practicalities are going to be," he said.

"There's an opportunity for some people to work remotely but that's not something that would work for everyone.

"We've been told we classify as an essential service, so we will find a way that works for us to keep on doing what we do."

Perry Homes state operations manager Luke Cini. Picture: Adam Head
Perry Homes state operations manager Luke Cini. Picture: Adam Head


Queensland Airports CEO Chris Mills said it was still too early to assess the potential impacts.

"We will work with state and federal government authorities to understand the details of this decision, and co-operate in implementing the necessary measures," he said.

About 2000 people work at the airport, either employed by airlines or the airport itself, while more than 8000 students are enrolled at the neighbouring Southern Cross University campus.

SCU yesterday officially moved all courses to online learning with most staff instructed to work from home.

Spokesman Dean Gould said the focus on online operations should stand the uni in good stead during the uncertain months ahead.

"We're still assessing what the full ramifications might be, but it's not unexpected, given what has transpired in the past 48 hours," he said.

"Whether our staff and students are on one side of the border or the other, the internet doesn't care."



Source - World Health Organization, Johns Hopkins, other media




Originally published as Tens of thousands in limbo with border closure