Council petitions MP and Premier for border closure
THE council has written to the head of the state to plead the case for shutting the NSW border to protect the Tweed.
The motion, which was amended to exclude also petitioning for the Tweed Shire to be declared a "red zone", passed unanimously at Thursday's first online Tweed Shire Council meeting.
Moved by mayor Katie Milne the council resolved: The Mayor writes to the NSW Premier as soon as possible and the Local State Member to request a NSW border closure for the Tweed Shire as a matter of urgency to provide further protection for NSW and Tweed Shire residents.
Cr Milne spoke about concerns from the public about the "large number of Queensland residents coming into our shire who are normally welcome but in this situation they are creating considerable angst and anxiety".
Cr Milne referenced locals feeling "swamped and overwhelmed" by Queenslanders coming into the shire's supermarkets and beaches.
Ironically, the next day graffiti vandal(s) targeted cars with Queensland number plates parked at Duranbah beach that appeared to have been a symptom of the growing border unrest issues associated with the coronavirus.
This sparked Tweed-Byron Police District commander Superintendent Dave Roptell to blast the actions of the offenders at a time the community should unite.
During the council meeting, Cr James Owen said in that case he had already written to Tweed MP Geoff Provest and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian earlier last week relaying similar community feedback.
Cr Milne said had already written a number of times to Mr Provest and had not received a response but was willing to write again.
"I understand he is not supportive of that position or taking calls from community members about that," she said.
In a statement released on Friday, Mr Provest said he had been in constant contact with the NSW Premier about the border situation and "there are currently no plans for NSW to close its borders and there is no current health advice requiring this".
He reminded the public either side of the border "there are limited reasons an individual can be outside their place of residence in NSW".
These reasons include work and education (where you can't work remotely), shopping for food and essentials, medical needs or the care of others and exercise.
"Anyone who is undertaking a holiday in regional NSW, or entering NSW for a reason outside the reasons listed above is breaking the law," Mr Provest said.
"Members of the community are encouraged to report anyone breaking the law under the Public Health (Covid-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020 to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000."
Cr Milne expressed a wish to put forward a separate motion about making the Tweed Shire a "red zone" as a coronavirus preventive measure at a later date.