Huge traffic delays are ‘killing’ business
A prominent southern Gold Coast hotelier is calling for border checkpoints to be moved into NSW to ease worsening gridlock, saying the congestion is 'killing' business.
Tony Cannon, owner of popular Greenmount hotel Komune, made the plea after getting stuck in a 90 minute traffic jam while trying to get to work from his Kingscliff home on Wednesday morning.
Mr Cannon said southern Gold Coast businesses, which only last Friday were rejoicing after the border finally reopened to all states except COVID-ravaged Victoria, were suffering again after new border controls were implemented.
Police at the Coast's five border checkpoints are now pulling over and checking all NSW-registered vehicles after the Palaszczuk Government declared Sydney local government areas Liverpool and Campbelltown as COVID hotspots on Tuesday.
The move has resulted in traffic being banked back for kilometres, and delays of up to two hours, at the border crossings.
Mr Cannon said he, his staff and guests were being caught up in the congestion which was also hurting other border businesses.
"I totally get why the checkpoints are in place but there has to be a better way because this is killing us, we're being slowly strangled," he said.
Mr Cannon said the checkpoints should be moved to the motorway north of Byron Bay, around Pottsville, to reduce inconvenience to border residents who criss-crossed the state line daily for work, study, medical appointments and shopping.
"That would avoid the situation we've got now where the traffic just comes into this massive bottleneck at Coolangatta," he said.
"The Gold Coast and Tweed Heads police work very closely anyway so I'm not sure why the checkpoints couldn't be moved further south to minimise inconvenience for the locals who have to cross the border every day.
"We've got to stop treating people from other states as aliens - we're all Australians. We need to work together on this."
Mr Cannon's comments came after Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate called for a referendum at the October state election to permanently move the border south to the Tweed River to make things easier for locals..
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made 'no apologies' for the border delays, adding that police were trying to make the border crossings as smooth as possible.
"I understand the frustration (for locals)," she said.
"These are border communities. It's not unique to Queensland and NSW.
"I'm quite sure there's issues between NSW and Victoria border at the moment as well.
"Unfortunately though I don't think the Tweed Shire Council would like to be absorbed as part of the Gold Coast Council.
"As much as we'd like to have those residents part of Queensland, they are part of NSW.
"But we'll try to make things as smooth as possible."
Originally published as 90 minute delays 'killing' business