What readers really think of border block
Diane – “Leave the Premier alone. At least Queensland can operate commercially albeit not normally. Bring in community transmission and the State will have to shut down like Melbourne and I am sure none of us would like to see that.”
Anthony – “Open the borders! I have family who I want to see and they want to see me but the restrictions make it hard. So many people die from cancer, car accidents and much more. Time to get the economy going!”
Niki – “Open borders! Can’t keep them shut forever. With two cases that keep getting repeated! Wear mask in public if need be. We are one nation united and the border closure has caused a lot of havoc, not to mention how much is it costing the taxpayer to pay all these police and security and their accommodation 24/7.”
Bec – “What about other states also having border restrictions? Why always focus on Qld’s restrictions, we aren’t the only ones.”
Vicki – “Anna is separating young and old families. Some children have not seen their parents for months. Wrong on every level. Families before football.”
Mark – “My wife who works in hospitality was recently knocked back for a role in Byron due to the ever changing border policies. We live on the Gold Coast.
“Hospitality jobs are very few and far between at the moment, and on a managerial level, even rarer. So it was crushing after a four week interview process.
“She was clearly the better person for the job. At the risk of sounding selfish, but there isn’t much difference between 2489 and 2481 – 41km and 33 minutes’ drive.
“Yet Tenterfield which at 2372 is OK to cross the border for which is on the same latitude as Maclean and Yamba. Warwick to Tenterfield comparative latitudes is 118 km and 1 hour 23 minutes’ drive.
“I hope this virus doesn’t lose its bearings or we are all in trouble.”
Todd – Plenty of borders still closed, NSW and Vic, WA to all states, NT to all States, SA to all States, what’s the big issue with QLD?
Dean – “So after days, people from postcode 2483 are still unable to obtain an X pass? “Why? The Queensland Government is absolutely useless! It’s only pure luck and warm weather that has prevented a serious outbreak of COVID.
“It definitely hasn’t been due to competent government officials and honest Queenslanders following the rules at the border.”
Nafisa – I am with Anastasia, she knows with Dr Young, what QLD needs.
MsL – “Complete disregard for the families who live on either side of this arbitrary border.
“Essential workers capacity is reduced due to the politically motivated creation of the bubble while it does more to invite the travelling virus in.
“Anyone could have foreseen this. At least essential workers, nurses, doctors, police, teachers, ambos could cross with permits before this. Policy on the run.”
Teri – The distance between Ormeau and Mooball is almost 100kms, so one can understand the bubble not being that big, unfortunately, for some people who travel far distances over the border.”
Basil – “These incompetent Queenslanders will not let surgeons or ambulances cross the border.
“Even though the new Tweed hospital is still under construction and the old hospital is under the pump.
“Good luck asking them to let you through to work in a pub. ANNA says go on Jobkeeper and stop whinging. Enjoy the bludge.”
Arun – “The Labor premiers need to act more responsibly and be more accountable especially Queensland and WA.
“They are just being extremely selfish and unAustralian. They need to get their heads out of the sand and get real. They are even ignoring the Prime Minister.
“Even Labor heavies like Joel Fitzgibbon seems to agree.
“No comment from Albanese except criticism especially when we need strong leadership.
“Once we get out of the Covid drama we need to change our constitution so that this is not repeated in future.”
Susan – More situations showing the incompetence of the people who write the rules then their underlings either not understanding or not caring about the consequences.
“For a premier to simply smirk and say go on Jobkeeper just shows she is also just as incompetent and uncaring.
“Hopefully in October a government is elected that has more commonsense.”
Greg – “In the Queensland Premier’s eyes though if you’re a “d-grade” celebrity or a trucking magnate, you’re welcomed into Queensland with open arms.
“The Premier is devoid of empathy of any kind. The refusal of mother and baby being together proved that. After that, any respect for this women went out the window.”
Richard – “We are all Australians! Why cannot our Premier see that?”
Geoff – “If NSW had travel restrictions, we wouldn’t need a border lockdown.
“NSW Government refuses to address the problem, so Queensland has to take action.
“Gladys needs to acknowledge that NSW has failed to service northern communities to the point Queensland services are used for their everyday requirement.”
Glenn – “The health advice at the federal level led to international borders remaining open until March, two months after the most successful country in managing COVID-19 Taiwan closed their borders.
“It also led to the delayed use of masks. I am glad Queensland is following the Queensland chief health officer’s advice and not doing what the federal health advisers say in relation to state borders.”
‘The response is an insult’: Tweed MP blasts NSW Premier
A PROPOSAL to move the Queensland border checkpoints south to Northern NSW has been ignored by the NSW Premier, according to a Tweed MP.
Member for Richmond Justine Elliot today said she was disappointed Ms Berejiklian ignored requests to move the checkpoints to ensure locals could access Queensland for work, study and medical reasons.
Ms Elliot said the Premier “couldn’t even be bothered to respond” after receiving a reply from her parliamentary secretary.
“The response confirms the NSW Premier refuses to support our community,” Ms Elliot said.
“The response states: “The NSW Government believes the only other option, apart from the current arrangement, is for the checkpoints to be moved further north of the border.”
“Quite frankly, this response is an insult to our community. Right across the North Coast there have been calls from our local Councils, community groups and businesses to have a border checkpoint in Northern NSW.
“We need the NSW Premier to allow a Northern NSW border checkpoint. We need all of our region to be part of the QLD/Northern NSW COVID-free zone. We need a Northern NSW border checkpoint that would incorporate the Local Government Areas of Tweed, Byron, Ballina, Lismore, Tenterfield and Kyogle.
“A border checkpoint in Northern NSW is urgently needed to protect the health and safety of our residents and to ensure that locals can access Southern QLD for their work, study, medical and family commitments.
“The fact is the Sydney-centric NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian just doesn’t care about our community on the North Coast,” Justine said.
Councillors unite to take on border closure
LIBERAL, Labor and Greens councillors have united forces to fight against Queensland’s hard border closure.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk this week announced the hard closure could continue until Christmas.
Tweed mayor Katie Milne and councillors James Owen and Reece Byrnes were last night unanimously supported to challenge Queensland’s border restrictions.
Cr Milne will write to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Ms Palazczuk to highlight the significant “negative health, social and economic impacts” of the closure.
Here’s what the councillors propose:
1. Queensland considers amending the current style of restrictions to revert to the restrictions that were originally in place from March to July.
2. The current NSW & Queensland border bubble be extended to the southern border of Ballina Shire, NSW to encompass this critical economic zone.
3. The current NSW & Queensland border bubble be extended to north of Brisbane, Qld.
4. That critical workers from Qld outside the bubble areas be allowed into the NSW bubble areas, in-line with the current allowance for critical workers from NSW being allowed to service Qld.
5. That the NSW Premier imposes intrastate travel restrictions to the border bubble areas, or at least from any NSW COVID-19 hotspot clusters, to protect rural and regional areas such as the Tweed Shire, maintain the integrity of the border bubble and give confidence to Qld.
6. NSW commits resources to operate a Northern Rivers bubble checkpoint.
7. Consideration be given to providing increased specialist medical services to be provided in the area for northern NSW residents no longer able to be cared for in Qld.
8. NSW assists residents with financial support to quarantine in Queensland if required for essential medical, work or other purposes.
9. Further financial support is provided for NSW residents and businesses negatively impacted by the border closures.
10. Qld provides greater flexibility for compassionate grounds for NSW residents to be with their families in Qld.
11. Thanks the respective Premiers for their assistance so far.
Tweed relief: Border bubble map expands
AFTER a frustrating two weeks of being locked out of the border bubble map Tweed shire residents who live within postcode 2483 can now cross the Queensland border.
Tweed councillor James Owen this morning welcomed the news, however, he said the Queensland Health website hadn’t implemented the changes and urged the state government to act quickly.
“It’s painful and it’s frustrating that’s still not the case, but hopefully it will reflect those changes soon,” Cr Owen said.
“It’s a shame it has taken so long to sort out, it should have been implemented immediately, but we welcome the change.”
Cr Owen credited the inclusion of the communities to the “tireless work” of NSW Cross Border Commissioner James McTavish, the outpouring of community frustration and the media for “getting the message out there”.
“They have clearly listened.”
Ambo drama: Woman, 90, forced to catch taxi to Coast hospital
AN elderly woman had to catch a taxi to hospital after NSW paramedics refused to transport her across the Queensland border.
Ron Stratton called an ambulance for his 90-year-old mother Shirley Stratton on Thursday night after her blood pressure dropped dangerously low.
Mr Stratton said when paramedics arrived they were told they could not take his mother to her preferred hospital in Queensland.
“We told them we want to take her John Flynn Hospital and they said they weren’t allowed,” Mr Stratton said.
“I said, ‘You’re joking? But you’re in the border bubble?
“But they were adamant they weren’t allowed and I didn’t push it.”
Instead, Mr Stratton had to call a maxi taxi to take his mother to hospital just nine kilometres from her Tweed Heads house.
“To make matters worse, they sent a car instead of van which we needed so they could take mum in a wheelchair,” he said.
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“Then they had to send another vehicle and we did up our border passes and we were able to cross the border and get to the hospital.
“After mum was admitted and got up to a ward, to our amazement, in walks two paramedics from NSW and I thought, ‘What is going on here?’”
A NSW Ambulance Service spokeswoman told Mr Stratton paramedics had to take his mother to the nearest Hospital which was The Tweed Hospital.
However, Mr Stratton said his mother was a Department of Veterans’ Affairs gold card holder which entitled her care in a private hospital.
“The woman from NSW Ambulance Service got a bit defensive, but I just wanted to know if this is going to be a regular thing.
“Paramedics do a great job, it’s about the system.”
A NSW Ambulance Service spokeswoman confirmed paramedics could cross the Queensland border but only to provide emergency medical care or to transport a patient.
She said when paramedics arrived on scene Ms Stratton was in a stable condition and was offered to be taken to The Tweed Hospital.
“The transport to Tweed Heads hospital by NSW Ambulance was declined by the patient’s family members, however, paramedics worked with the family to source an alternate mode of transport to the requested hospital,” she said.
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COAST MAN LEFT HOMELESS BY BORDER PASS GLITCH
LIVING on the Gold Coast and working in the Tweed shire has never been harder for Ormeau local Dom Pirlo.
The publican of the Victory Hotel at Mooball is a victim of a postcode bungle by the Queensland Government.
Last weekend postcode 2483 was dropped from the border bubble map – leaving Tweed shire residents living at Mooball, Wooyung, Crabbes Creek, Sleepy Hollow and Burringbar unable to apply for a border resident pass.
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The glitch has been flagged with Gold Coast Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler who on Monday advised those residents to refer to the Queensland Health website.
However, the error has yet to be fixed which means Mr Pirlo has had to move into his mother’s Mooball home and out of the family home, leaving behind his sick wife.
Mr Pirlo said he simply couldn’t afford not to open the pub and had no choice but to stay in NSW.
“What annoys the s**t out of me though is people from Byron Bay can surf at Pottsville and Cabarita and mingle with Queenslanders who then go back across the border,” Mr Pirlo said.
“I come down here, I go to work and then I go home, it’s not as if I’m gallivanting around the countryside on a holiday.”
Mr Pirlo said he was most frustrated that the minority of the Tweed shire were being disadvantaged.
“People are so confused by this border bubble and it’s only the minority of the Tweed shire who are affected.”
‘CONFUSION AND STRESS’
TWEED Shire residents whose postcode dropped off the border bubble map last week are still left in the dark.
Councillor James Owen confirmed shire communities with the postcode 2483 were now eligible for a border zone resident declaration pass.
However, he was furious the change still hadn’t been implemented on the Queensland Health website.
Cr Owen said he had been inundated by telephone calls and letters from residents in Burringbar, Crabbes Creek, Mooball, Sleepy Hollow and Wooyung who still couldn’t access the X pass.
He said the “bureaucratic bungle” could have been avoided if there was a single point of contact on both sides of the border.
“There’s a guy who runs the pub in Mooball but lives in Ormeau who is now sleeping at his work at the Victory Hotel, living away from his family, because his work is deemed to be outside of the border bubble,” Cr Owen said.
“It’s causing confusion and major stress for people. It should have been implemented really quickly.”
HOW THE SAGA STARTED
THE bubble burst for some Tweed residents whose postcode suddenly dropped off the border zone map.
Last Friday night, postcode 2483 was removed from the border bubble map that shows all suburbs eligible for a border zone declaration pass, also known as an X pass.
The X pass allows people from within the border bubble to cross into Queensland for any reason during the hard closure.
The map includes the Tweed Shire and the Gold Coast city.
The move left Tweed Shire residents whose postcode is 2483 “confused and concerned”.
Tweed councillor James Owen wrote to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to clarify whether those residents would be eligible for an X pass.
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Cr Owen said the postcode 2483 included Tweed Shire communities Burringbar, Crabbes Creek, Mooball, Sleepy Hollow and Wooyung.
“The recent announcement from the Queensland government of a border zone resident declaration pass (X pass) was an indication that finally our border communities were being considered,” Cr Owen said.
“However, once again Tweed Shire communities have been left confused and concerned following the announcement that the postcode 2483 has been removed from the ‘border bubble’, after initially being included.”
Cr Owen called on the Premier to “act quickly” and to announce the confirmation of their inclusion.
Gold Coast Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler on Saturday confirmed postcode 2483 was removed from the map because it included Brunswick Heads, which falls under the Byron Shire.
Supt Wheeler said there was confusion about a shared postcode and apologised to those residents who on Friday thought they could come to Queensland.
“There has to be a line somewhere and Byron Shire was deliberately excluded by the Health Chief Officer,” he said.
Originally published as What readers really think of border block