The Northern Rivers will spend another seven days in lockdown after the New South Wales government announced it would be extended for regional and rural parts of the state.
- The New South Wales government says the border will not be moved, despite calls from local leaders
- Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says she will lock down the Gold Coast if a Delta case crosses the border
- Businesses owners on the southern Gold Coast have met in a bid to come up with solutions to their border pains
New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro shut down any possibility of moving the Coolangatta-Tweed border south.
“If you start dividing up New South Wales, you’ll cause more problems than actually solving solutions.
“The border cannot move and should not move because there’ll be unintended consequences that’ll have worse and more adverse outcomes for the broader part of the Northern Rivers area.”
Won’t hesitate to put Gold Coast in lockdown
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she made no apologies for the hard border “to keep Queensland safe”.
“This is about safety, it only takes one person to cross that border with Delta and all bets are off,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“It is tough at the moment, no-one wants to see businesses suffer.
President of the Greater Southern Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce Hilary Jacobs said “the atmosphere has changed on the Gold Coast”.
“Last year, it was a really strong feeling that we’re all heading in the same direction,” she said.
“Team Australia doesn’t exist anymore — we’re now building empires and we need those empire builders to start talking to each other and remember we are one Australia.
“There are already shops that are boarded up.”
More than 40 southern Gold Coast business owners met in Coolangatta this morning in a bid to come up with “solutions” to border pains.
Member for Currumbin Laura Gerber co-hosted the meeting where business owners discussed the border closure, staffing, and mandatory vaccination requirements for cross-border essential workers.
Brad Pond from the Salt and Smoke Butcher in Coolangatta, just metres from the border, said he has had to encourage staff to find work in the Tweed.
“I am just going to hire people on this side of the border so I don’t have those issues with my business, which is wrong I believe. Like everyone is saying, we are part of Australia and it shouldn’t be like this.”
People flood Facebook
Mel O’Connell and Sandy Stivey created the Facebook page Border Life — Northern Rivers/GC on Tuesday night to connect short-term jobs with non-essential workers who cannot cross the border.
Ms Stivey said the response had “been overwhelming” with the page receiving 22,000 views in the first 24 hours.
Ms O’Connell said there had been a variety of job requests shared.
“There have been painters, there have been plasterers, there have been people needing someone to service their vending machines on the Gold Coast,” she said.
“They’re saying if I service yours, you’ll service mine.”
But there had also been frustration and confusion.
The Facebook page Border closure updates has swelled by 1,000 new members a day since the restrictions were announced last weekend.
Admin Ian Scott said moderating offensive or misleading comments had been challenging.
“On the government’s sites, I find that the information is not very understanding to people so that’s why our page got flooded with a lot of information, a lot of people asking what they can and can’t do,” he said.
“We’ve got a lot of members who are upset and angry.”
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