REJOICE: QLD border to open for Coffs Coast residents
NORTH Coast MPs have lined up to take shots at the Queensland Labor Government – a day out from their state election – after it was announced the border would reopen to residents in much of NSW
The border will officially reopen from November 3 to all residents in NSW except those from 32 LGAs in Greater Sydney.
Residents from regional NSW would still be required to apply for border passes to enter the state, a move Coffs Harbour MP Gurmesh Singh described as “onerous red tape”.
Mr Singh issued a statement welcoming the news before saying the decision was “a few months too late”.
“We’ve had fewer COVID-19 cases than most of Queensland, and zero cases of community transmission in the Coffs Harbour electorate,” he said.
“Because the 32 LGAs in Sydney are still excluded, Coffs Coast motorists will still be forced to download, complete and display border permits and face often lengthy queues at the border.
“It has caused unnecessary stress for families wanting to reunite, as well as medical issues for those who have relied on doctors and specialists over the border.”
Mr Singh went on to say the whole border closure was “election politics” rather than it being a decision based on “science”.
“The Coffs Coast hasn’t banned visitors from Sydney and we haven’t any cases for months.”
However, Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young explained the reason much of Greater Sydney had been excluded from the border bubble was because of the number of untraced community transmissions.
“Prior to yesterday (NSW) had four LGAs in Sydney that had cases of community transmission that NSW was unable to link to any known clusters, which means that they have transmission and they don’t know where it is coming from,” she said.
“Yesterday they had four new cases and one of those cases they could not link to any other known clusters.”
But with Queensland due to go to the polls tomorrow, Page MP Kevin Hogan – who has been a vocal critic of the border closures – didn’t hold back.
“While I welcome the inclusion of our entire region, a lot of damage was done for no reason, except as a political stunt by the QLD Labor Government,” he said.
“This is not a coincidence on the day before an election.”