‘Enough damage done’: Thousands rally against border block

 

Thousands of people have signed a petition calling for an overhaul of Queensland's tough coronavirus border restrictions to put an end to "frustrating chaos".

More than 7000 internet users have signed the Change.org petition. Many complained of being unable to go to work, being kept apart from family and of junior sport being in disarray.

PM'S PLEA FOR RELAXED BORDER RULES

"The COVID-19 restrictions put into place by the Queensland government are having major impacts in the life of the border residents in the twin towns of Coolangatta and Tweed Heads and surrounding areas," petition creator Mel Malone said.

A Queensland Police officer checks vehicles at a border checkpoint at Griffith St, Coolangatta. Picture: Jessica Lamb
A Queensland Police officer checks vehicles at a border checkpoint at Griffith St, Coolangatta. Picture: Jessica Lamb

"Unlike other places in Australia that have border closures, this area is shared equally by Northern NSW Tweed residents and southern Gold Coast residents. It is very much a twin town. Border residents share resources and commute regularly back and forward between Queensland and NSW as part of daily life.

"The government needs to find a solution so that residents can access essential services and be able to travel to work. Enough damage has been done without destroying the lives of the border town residents by maintaining the restrictions as they are."

 

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The petition is not pushing to have restrictions removed entirely, it is stated.

"This is simply a matter of getting the government to look at the border problem and to give border residents a fair chance at living their lives in these already tough times," it read.

"Essential services and access to work and care/compassion access must be taken into account by the government."

One Terranora resident said she was not able to travel to her job in Brisbane.

"I have government letters saying I'm an essential worker and that's still not enough," she said.

A police officer motions to drivers at a border checkpoint. Picture: Nigel Hallett
A police officer motions to drivers at a border checkpoint. Picture: Nigel Hallett

A woman from Alstonville, near Ballina in northern NSW, said: "I have a daughter who plays professional elite soccer and we have no COVID cases and her whole Queensland team is affected now, having up to eight players from NSW."

STAGGERING NUMBER OF TWEED BUSINESSES ON JOBKEEPER

The petition was started five days ago.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has shown no sign of loosening restrictions.

She said on Monday there was no new cases of COVID-19 in Queensland and eight cases were still active. Six people have died and 1079 patients have recovered.

Originally published as 'Enough damage done': Thousands rally against border blockade


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