The Queensland border will close to NSW. Photo: Courier Mail
The Queensland border will close to NSW. Photo: Courier Mail

MORE DETAILS: What Qld border shutting means for twin towns

UPDATE, 11.25am: "ONE person's disadvantage is another's advantage."

Those were the words of Tweed Shire Councillor Warren Polglase, who views the Queensland border closure to NSW as an opportunity for local business.

Mr Polglase, who is also the Tweed Chamber of Commerce president, said it could be a "mini boom" for the Tweed now those who would normally travel and holiday in Queensland could not.

Tweed Shire Councillor Warren Polglase
Tweed Shire Councillor Warren Polglase

"We have a lot of wonderful places to go and see, people should be out marketing as much as they can to see if we can get a boom of people who can't get into Queensland. We should be taking advantage of this opportunity," he said.

"There is always the risk of this could lead to encouraging people from hotspots like Sydney to visit but I think they have got the general consensus to stay home loud and clear.

"We need a balance between economic viability and sustainability about the virus coming here.

"A precautionary person might say don't come to the Tweed or the Northern Rivers at all. But a small business might say 'well we have been vigilant and not seen any coronavirus cases in the Tweed, if we continue what we are doing and stay vigilant then why can't we continue to trade?'"

 

UPDATE, 11.10am: A TWEED councillor has welcomed the announcement Tweed residents will be able to apply for border passes after lobbying the Queensland Premier last week.

James Owen, who is also president of the Kingscliff Chamber of Commerce, wrote to Annastacia Palaszczuk about introducing a locals only pass.

<<READ MORE: Cop explains why 'locals' border pass only good in theory>>

The announcement this morning that Queensland borders will close to New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory from 1am this Saturday, August 8 comes after Queensland's Chief Health Officer has declared all of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory as hotspots.

Ms Palaszczuk said border passes would be granted to residents from the Tweed.

This was also an idea previously spruiked by Tweed MP Geoff Provest.

<<READ MORE: Simple idea that could solve border traffic nightmare>>

All visitors will be denied entry except for rare exemptions and returning Queenslanders will have to pay for 14 days mandatory hotel quarantine.

Tweed Shire councillor James Owen.
Tweed Shire councillor James Owen.

In a Facebook post, Ms Palaszczuk wrote "only residents of border communities and essential workers, such as truck drivers, will be able to cross the border. Exemptions - including for compassionate reasons - will be limited. Passes for border communities will be for those with proof of address and photo ID."

Mr Owen said he was happy the Premier had listened to locals for border community passes.

"The news is devastating for business but it follows the same line as my call last week to Sydney hotspots to stay away from the Tweed," he said.

"Hopefully a locals pass will mean the impacts on the individuals, businesses, community and sports are minimised as much as possible however there is no doubt this will have an impact.

Police controlled checkpoints on the Gold Coast Hwy on July 24.
Police controlled checkpoints on the Gold Coast Hwy on July 24.

"An outbreak in our community would be devastating, there is a major concerns our health system would be overwhelmed and any outbreak in the community would shut down businesses completely. At least at the moment with this precautionary approach they can still operate at least at a reduces capacity."

It is understood the border closure will be reviewed at the end of the month.

 

Original story: QUEENSLAND'S shock decision to close its border to NSW has left Tweed MP Geoff Provest in the dark once again.

Mr Provest said he was sitting in Parliament in Sydney when he heard the news which directly affects more than 10,000 people in his electorate who work in the Sunshine State.

Tweed MP Geoff Provest
Tweed MP Geoff Provest Rick Koenig

He said the "devil was in the details" and slammed "broad brush" announcements by the Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk which had left locals wondering if they could attend school or work as of 1am this Saturday.

"Even our NSW Premier came out and said she hasn't heard from the (Queensland) Premier for some time," he said.

"At the moment I am assuming it will function similarly to what happened before with essential workers with a border declaration allowed to travel.

"This has been put in place with little reference to us.... she has to be aware our produce and fuel comes from Queensland and 30 per cent of Tweed residents work in Queensland and 15 per cent of our children go to school there."

It is understood there will be an emergency meeting with the Queensland and NSW police forces to work out the logistics of border checkpoints at 11am today.

During a press conference this morning Ms Palaszczuk announced all visitors will be denied entry except for rare exemptions.

MORE TO COME.


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