Traffic passing through the QLD/NSW border crossing on Gold Coast Highway, Bilinga. Picture: Jerad Williams
Traffic passing through the QLD/NSW border crossing on Gold Coast Highway, Bilinga. Picture: Jerad Williams

‘Premier just doesn’t care about North Coast’, MP

THE NSW Premier could be doing more to help people disadvantaged by the QLD border closure according to a local MP.

Richmond MP Justine Elliot said she was "extremely disappointed the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is refusing to support our community".

>>> MORE COVID-19 news: Border closure impacting medical treatment

"I wrote to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian requesting that the QLD/NSW border checkpoint be moved south into northern NSW to allow for a QLD/Northern NSW COVID-free zone.

"The NSW Premier couldn't even be bothered to respond to the needs of the North Coast instead having her Western Sydney based Parliamentary Secretary pen the letter," Ms Elliot said.

In the letter, Ray Williams says the NSW Government believes the only other option, aside from the current arrangement, is to move the checkpoint further north, not south.

While he acknowledged Tweed Shire residents were "suffering greatly" from the border controls and traffic delays, they believed pushing the checkpoint south to the Tweed River "would simply push the problems further into NSW".

Ms Elliot said the response "confirms the NSW Premier refuses to support our community".

"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," Ms Elliot said.



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