WE’RE HURTING: Southern Downs MP James Lister at Sugarloaf Rd Border Closure.
WE’RE HURTING: Southern Downs MP James Lister at Sugarloaf Rd Border Closure.

MP calls for border closures to be relaxed in Southern Downs

STRICT measures enforced by the government to flatten the curve of coronavirus spread has hurt regional areas the most, according Southern Downs MP James Lister.

Since more severe border closures came into affect this week, Mr Lister said he's been bombarded with phone calls form concerned constituents who are unable to conduct their day to day necessities.

"Everywhere along the border in Southern Downs, from Killarney to Mungundi, people who have an acknowledged right to cross between the states, are forced to travel long distances just to visit the supermarket or the doctor," he said.

"I don't want to kick up a stink when the government is trying to deal with coronavirus but they need to have personnel at these borders."

Mr Lister said concrete blockades have forced residents who live along border all over his electorate to take significant detours to access essential services.

"Ambulances, they can't afford to take a 50km detour, every second is precious," he said.

"I had a farmer west of Gundy call me whose farm spans across the border with a paddock either side, he now has to travel around 100km to get round access the other side of his farm.

"It's ridiculous, we're hurting more than we should be."

Mr Lister said this is the third time he's contacted the Premier's office with concern over measures taken in response to coronavirus.

"They aren't considering the country, first there was the closure of inland waterways, then the decision to close all licenced firearms retailers and armourers and now these border closures," he said.

"When two crook decisions happen you can forgive them, they're trying to respond to coronavirus but when you get three of them you have to ask yourself, why is it places like ours that are bearing the brunt of bad decisions?"

Mr Lister said he believes the solution lies in finding more personnel to be at every single state line checkpoint.

"If the Premier has to get extra police out there, so be it."


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