Business leaders slam border closures

BUSINESS leaders on the southern Gold Coast say the decision to close the NSW border was a "thought bubble response" and "dog's breakfast" - and needed to be reviewed immediately.

The comments come as the Queensland Government announced plans to lift restrictions for NRL players on May 28, while businesses remain in the dark.

Greater Southern Gold Coast Chamber president Hilary Jacobs said the closure had been an "immeasurable negative impact" on business.

"At a time when we should have all been staying local and supporting one another, all of a sudden an arbitrary line on a map forced everyone to start to do things even more differently," Ms Jacobs said.

"The Queensland/NSW border at Coolangatta and Tweed Heads is the most highly-populated border area of Australia, and all of this for the sake of a thought bubble response."


The chamber believed a "lack of consistency" between regions and states had made a "bad situation worse".

"If the State Government was really serious about stopping movement they would have stopped the weekend trippers from Brisbane and beyond who have continued to fill our beaches each weekend since before the border was closed."

The border has now been closed for more than a month. Picture: Jerad Williams
The border has now been closed for more than a month. Picture: Jerad Williams

Ms Jacobs felt a better outcome would have been the states adopting uniform rules.

"Instead it's been a dog's breakfast of rules which the confusion has been flaunted by many.

"We have been very lucky so far that this inconsistency hasn't led to a disastrous result in the number of COVID-19 cases."

Tweed Mall centre manager John Weaver said business had been especially tough over the past month.

"We are starting to see business pick back up as people become more positive about the situation - but people are frustrated with what is happening around the border. They are unable to get here in their car."

Police at the Queensland border from NSW to QLD. Picture: Jerad Williams
Police at the Queensland border from NSW to QLD. Picture: Jerad Williams

As of yesterday, 45 stores were trading. More were expected to open in coming days. "The border closure needs to be reviewed immediately, alongside the changes to the spread of the virus so we can get back to business.

"Health comes first always, and we are following all the guidelines - we just need to see improved and workable containment measures."

Tweed Mayor Katie Milne said she was yet to receive advice on when the border would re-open.

"Approximately a third of council's workforce reside in Queensland and travel over the border. Their trip times to and from work have been affected," Cr Milne said.

"When the closure was first announced, it did cause concern for many businesses and the community. However the Queensland Government has put in place exemption measures to accommodate the border communities.

"Every government has worked in the interest of public health and we respect and support the decisions of our Queensland and Gold Coast counterparts in putting in these measures to protect their communities, which also help to protect our community."

Originally published as Business leaders slam border closures