Do local politicians support Warriors coming to Lennox?
LOCAL politicians Tamara Smith and Ben Franklin have voiced their conditional support for the New Zealand Warriors proposed arrival at Lennox Head.
The New Zealand Warriors are seeking to enter Australia for the resumption of the NRL season and view Lake Ainsworth at Lennox Head as a preferred destination to base themselves during quarantine.
Ballina MP, Tamara Smith, said provided the Warriors met the necessary requirements for entry, she supported the move.
"My primary focus at the moment is for the safety our community. If the decision is made by the Premier to allow the Warriors to fly into Ballina and be quarantined at Lake Ainsworth, I will be seeking assurances about the safety of our community," Mrs Smith said.
"I would expect that if this proposal for the NZ Warriors is to go ahead, that the team will be expected to follow the same quarantine and isolation rules as anyone else entering the country during this time in that they won't be allowed to leave the camp for 14 days."
"Subject to detail on how their visit will be managed, I'm supportive of this proposal," Ms Smith said.
MLC Ben Franklin agreed saying that it was the local community which was paramount when making this decision.
"I am not necessarily opposed to the NZ Warriors being based at Lennox Head but the proposal could only be considered if all appropriate health and security approvals were given. Nothing is more important than protecting the health of our residents," Mr Franklin said.
Ms Smith said that the move could be a positive addition to the local area which has been onset with hard times due to the coronavirus.
"Safely done, having the Warriors based in Lennox for part of the NRL season is a good opportunity. Around 40 per cent of businesses in our area rely on tourism and about 80 per cent of our local businesses have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic."
"We need economic stimulus with estimates of 15-20 % unemployment in the Northern Rivers right now. This proposal, safely managed, can play a part in our economic recovery," Ms Smith said.
Ms Smith said she had been contacted by local residents who are concerned about the potential impacts the arrival could have.
"A number of constituents have contacted me to raise some concerns about this. I have raised those concerns with the police and the area health service and honestly the devil will be in the detail."