How Queensland’s border decision impacts the Northern Rivers
IT'S CHEERS all around for Northern NSW residents in response to today's announcement Queensland will dismantle its border checkpoints.
From next Tuesday, December 1, Queensland will re-open its borders to Victoria and Greater Sydney with only those coming into the Sunshine State from declared hot spots required to complete the border declaration pass.
The only hotspot at this stage is Adelaide, a status to be reviewed at the end of the month.
Those coming in from a hotspot will need to completing the online border pass form, flying into Queensland and undergoing mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days, unless they have an exemption.
Tweed shire mayor Chris Cherry said it gave residents back their freedom and the ability to plan their daily lives.
She explained locals were no strangers to waiting more than two hours in queued traffic at the
four road checkpoints along the Gold Coast-Tweed Heads area.
"For businesses in the border area it is a godsend because people were avoiding the area because they didn't want to get caught up in the delay.
"The Queensland border has been about protecting Queensland people and that has done its job, now we really need to be on top of complancey as things can happen quickly like we have seen in South Australia now.
"People are working from home to avoid the delays in the commute and its affecting people who are getting trades people to come. People have told me tradies and businesses had to charge two hours extra in time for the trip. So its just great news."
Cr Cherry said the border divide had really emphasised how much the Southern Gold Coast and Tweed communities were intersected and relied on each other.
"It's a bit like family, don't know how much need them till not there," she said.
Kingscliff Chamber of Commerce president James Owen said visiting family over Christmas time was a huge part of the Tweed's tourism market.
"Now people can travel to see their relatives here easier and our businesses are really looking forward to welcoming everyone back," he said.
"Our businesses have worked really hard to innovate and despite the border closures many have been really successful and busier than ever and we hope to build on this and really stimulate the economy.
"It's very exciting, almost surreal when you consider what we have been through."
The ABC reports 200 police will be able to return to normal duties and officers will undertake random patrols and intercepts focused on South Australian number plates.
State Disaster Coordinator Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski confirmed checkpoints can be reinstated within the day if necessary.