Hopes to end the weeks of heartache of the Queensland-New South Wales border community have been shattered again, and state leaders have once again strongly opposed the proposal to move a harsh border crossing south. bottom.
Queensland reintroduced strict borders with its southern neighbors in response to the COVID-19 surge in New South Wales in late July, gradually tightening cross-border travel exemptions. ..
Currently, only a few essential workers from New South Wales can enter Queensland, causing turmoil in the southern Gold Coast and the Tweed region.
However, the Queensland Government has announced that New South Wales has finally moved to a tough border.
The previous proposal to move the checkpoint south to temporarily include the border town of Tweed Heads in Queensland was rejected by New South Wales.
Queensland Attorney General Shannon Fentyman told reporters on Saturday that “finally, months later, NSW is ready to discuss the move of checkpoints with us. I am very happy. “
“As someone who grew up on the Gold Coast, that border community is really one community, making it easy for people to take their children to school and making medical appointments absolutely makes sense. “
“I’m really happy to finally realize how tough NSW is for that border area,” she said.
She said issues such as border crackdowns would be resolved very early.
However, New South Wales leaders counterattacked Queensland’s “frustrating” approach, saying their leaders were lying.
“Despite the turmoil from the Queensland Government yesterday, the NSW government is fiercely opposed to moving the border crossing to the River Tweed south,” said NSW Deputy Prime Minister John Barilaro on Saturday. Said in a statement.
“What we want is a true border bubble that allows workers to get to work and access important medical care to people.”
Barillaro wrote again last week to Queensland’s Minister of Health, Yvette Dat, to propose a solution instead.
The border bubble still requires a travel permit, but it does not require moving south of the border, but it creates the challenge for Queensland to guard areas outside its jurisdiction.
According to New South Wales authorities, there are no neat geographic features that can be used to support enforcement and compliance operations, and if Tweed Hospital is temporarily absorbed into Queensland, access to local health care will be available. Will decrease.
New South Wales officials were trying to develop a viable solution for the border area, but their attempt was “deaf,” Barillaro said.
“New South Wales communications have been unanswered, and even my own letter to the Queensland Health Minister has been unanswered.”
“It’s becoming clear that Queensland isn’t serious about finding solutions for border areas.”
Blood Hazard, New South Wales Minister of Health, also expressed his view.
“It’s very frustrating for residents of northern New South Wales to be effectively locked out by Queensland, which presents some real challenges,” he told reporters on Saturday. rice field.
“There are medical staff on the border side working at the Gold Coast Hospital, and vice versa.
“It’s definitely a problem.”
The moving checkpoint was considered and considered infeasible, but the debate continues, he said.
New South Wales continues to reach a tough milestone, with more than 1,000 new cases reported again on Saturday, Queensland on Friday afternoon after the state recorded a 20th day without community-acquired pneumonia. State regulations have been relaxed.
Currently, up to 100 people are allowed for home meetings, 200 for weddings and funerals, or 1 person per 2 square meters.
Cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs allow the same social distance restrictions, but stadiums and venues with ticket seats can operate at 100% capacity.
Face masks are still essential indoors and outdoors where people cannot be socially distanced.
Four new cases acquired abroad were diagnosed at a state hotel quarantine on Friday.