QLD NSW BORDER TRUCKS
QLD NSW BORDER TRUCKS

‘No doubt’ southern move would ease border woes

A TWEED councillor has broken ranks and spoken out in favour of shifting Queensland's border blockade south.

It comes after Tweed Mayor Katie Milne said the move was "strongly opposed" by the council and the checkpoints should go further north.

"The checkpoint should be moved further north to the Bilinga Tugun area as this is a Queensland initiative," she said.

Tweed Shire councillor Pryce Allsop.
Tweed Shire councillor Pryce Allsop.

"They need to take responsibility to fix it or bear the burden in their own state not ours."

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate is pushing for a move south and has labelled it a "no-brainer".

"It makes logical sense. Seriously, the city's northern border goes all the way to the Logan River, why not have the southern one go to the Tweed River," he said.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palasczcuk has said she wrote to New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian to discuss moving border checkpoints south.

But Ms Berejiklian rubbished the idea and said: "If anything the border should be moved north."

A truck passes through a checkpoint at Coolangatta. Picture: Richard Gosling
A truck passes through a checkpoint at Coolangatta. Picture: Richard Gosling

Cr Allsop said in a lengthy statement there is "no doubt" relocating the checkpoints south would ease "mass congestion" in border communities.

While wait times have dropped considerably in recent days, the Queensland Government's ongoing border restrictions aimed at keeping out visitors from Victoria and other coronavirus hot spots have led to delays stretching several hours.

Medicos have raised concerns about increased travel time impacting patients and their work and parents on the border are spending much more time ferrying kids to and from school.

But the impact of the border delays is widespread and affects everyone who regularly travels between intertwined border towns, such as Coolangatta and Tweed Heads.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate. Picture: Jono Searle/Getty Images
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate. Picture: Jono Searle/Getty Images

"To improve the cross border working conditions is desirable. Moving inspection points is a touchy subject but could be beneficial for numerous reasons," Cr Allsop said.

He pointed out communities were battling "the stress of cross-border employment", that the logistics of transport companies was affected and the impact on business was "ridiculous".

"So much of Tweed's economy is aligned with cross-border considerations, the distribution of freight from the Gold Coast and Brisbane CBDs is highly necessary," he said.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Picture: David Clark
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Picture: David Clark

"Moving inspections further to the south will no doubt provide solutions for traffic congestion for the current COVID-19 checkpoint.

"The Queensland Government drew the line in the sand and put the checkpoint where it is now without discussion."

Cr Allsop suggested authorities crunch the numbers to "deliver all the answers" and determine a better approach.

He added that more people are shopping locally in the Tweed to avoid crossing the border - another blow for the Gold Coast economy, which has been hit hard in the coronavirus crisis.

Originally published as 'No doubt' southern move would ease border woes


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