Queensland residents worried ahead of potential hard border with New South Wales
Residents of the Queensland-New South Wales border are anxiously awaiting the authorities’ decision to close the border permanently.
Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk has yet to close the border with New South Wales, but said the situation could change very quickly.
“I take the advice of Dr Young, she monitors the sewage in greater Sydney and she gives us advice every day.”
“We will continue to monitor the situation in New South Wales on a daily basis.”
NSW has recorded a second death linked to the current Delta variant outbreak, which has now spread to regions, with one case detected in Goulburn, about 200 kilometers from Sydney.
Impact on business
Clive Quartermaine, who runs a hardware store in Goondiwindi, said he was concerned about the impact it would have on his business.
“Probably a third of our business comes across the border or the rural side of the border,” he said.
“It certainly gets anxious within our community as a lot of motels and trailer parks have high occupancy rates, especially on weekdays.
“They employ a lot of people to clean the rooms, to run the restaurants, it’s a chain reaction.”
Mr Quartermaine said businesses were marked by the latest border closure, which lasted for more than a month from December 20, 2020 to January 31, 2021.
“It had a very big impact, mentally and physically for these people, because it put a lot of stress on them, especially following a three-year drought,” he said.
Talk about the city
Goondiwindi mayor Lawrence Springborg said the potential for a strict border closure was being discussed across the region.
“I just walked into a store [in Texas] for coffee and there was a discussion between the owner of the store and… a tradie and he asked, “Well, what’s up with the borders? Said Councilor Springborg.
He said if the state government made the decision to close the border with New South Wales, the Council would be ready.
“This is not the first time people have experienced this uncertainty. We have spent a good part of last year with our borders closed.”
Councilor Springborg said if an extended border closure were to be implemented, he wanted authorities to consider giving the community more freedoms due to the high vaccination rate in Goondiwindi.
He said at least half of the community received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine after a clinic was held in Goondiwindi last month.
Griffith University professor of immunology Nigel McMillan said confidence in Queensland’s way of handling COVID could be the root of why the border was not closed immediately.
“I think it’s because we’ve been very comfortable, we’ve dealt with blockages and been tested and the public has really come to terms with that,” Prof McMillan said.
But Professor McMillan said he believes a border closure is imminent due to the Prime Minister’s language.
“I think when you hear the Prime Minister say things like ‘think hard and go back to Queensland’ I think that’s pretty much a clue that they’re going to close the border soon,” he said. declared.