UN-AUSTRALIAN: Qld’s ‘pathetic’ border response slammed
CLARENCE MP Chris Gulaptis has come out swinging against the Queensland Government's response to his requests for the Clarence Valley to be included in the recently extended border bubble.
The "pathetic" response comes as NSW Government authorities scramble to identify the source of three positive COVID-19 cases, threatening to put in jeopardy the 28-day countdown set by the Queensland Government for their reopening of the border.
From October 1 the Queensland border bubble expanded to include local government areas north and west of the Clarence Valley, including regions such as Byron Bay, Ballina and Glen Innes.
Queensland's Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young said the decision was made to include areas close to the border with more linkages with Queensland, implying places like the Clarence Valley had closer linkages to Sydney than to Queensland.
Mr Gulaptis said since the border bubble expansion he has pushed to get the Clarence included, but the response he has received has been less than satisfactory.
"I wrote to Ms Palaszczuk twice in recent weeks explaining the anomaly of including LGA's like Glen Innes but not the Clarence Valley in the border exemption zone and pointed out that we have a cleaner COVID record than south east Queensland, with no cases reported in months," Mr Gulaptis said.
"The two-page response I received from her office claims she is relying on the best medical and scientific advice, but merely commits to 'noting' my representations on behalf of the Clarence Valley.
"This is disappointing as it ignores the science and deprives both areas of much needed economic activity. We pose no health risk to Queensland.
"This is un-Australian. We have never needed a passport to cross the border into Queensland. Henry Parkes would be rolling over in his grave.
"The best the Clarence can hope for now is a change of Government at the Queensland State election on October 31."
The response comes as more coronavirus cases in NSW threaten a planned widescale opening of the Queensland border next month.
Last week the Queensland Government announced it would open its border to NSW on November 1, provided there were 28 consecutive days of no community transmission of coronavirus.
However today it was confirmed three new positive cases in NSW were found, and Health authorities were scrambling to identify their source.