Sleeping at a pub: Border bungle leaves Coast man homeless

TWEED Shire residents whose postcode dropped off the border bubble map last week are still left in the dark.

Councillor James Owen confirmed shire communities with the postcode 2483 were now eligible for a border zone resident declaration pass.

However, he was furious the change still hadn't been implemented on the Queensland Health website.

Cr Owen said he had been inundated by telephone calls and letters from residents in Burringbar, Crabbes Creek, Mooball, Sleepy Hollow and Wooyung who still couldn't access the X pass.

He said the "bureaucratic bungle" could have been avoided if there was a single point of contact on both sides of the border.

"There's a guy who runs the pub in Mooball but lives in Ormeau who is now sleeping at his work at the Victory Hotel, living away from his family, because his work is deemed to be outside of the border bubble," Cr Owen said.

"It's causing confusion and major stress for people. It should have been implemented really quickly."

 

GLITCH LEAVES TWEED PUB OWNER HOMELESS

LIVING on the Gold Coast and working in the Tweed shire has never been harder for Ormeau local Dom Pirlo.

The publican of the Victory Hotel at Mooball is a victim of a postcode bungle by the Queensland Government.

Last weekend postcode 2483 was dropped from the border bubble map - leaving Tweed shire residents living at Mooball, Woogun, Crabbes Creek, Sleepy Hollow and Burringbar unable to apply for a border resident pass.

The glitch has been flagged with Gold Coast Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler who on Monday advised those residents to refer to the Queensland Health website.

However, the error has yet to be fixed which means Mr Pirlo has had to move into his mother's Mooball home and out of the family home, leaving behind his sick wife. 

Mr Pirlo said he simply couldn't afford not to open the pub and had no choice but to stay in NSW.

"What annoys the shit out of me though is people from Byron Bay can surf at Pottsville and Cabarita and mingle with Queenslanders who then go back across the border," Mr Pirlo said.

"I come down here, I go to work and then I go home, it's not as if I'm galavanting around the countryside on a holiday."

Mr Pirlo said he was most frustrated that the minority of the Tweed shire were being disadvantaged.

"People are so confused by this border bubble and it's only the minority of the Tweed shire who are affected."

 

HOW THE SAGA STARTED

THE bubble burst for some Tweed residents whose postcode suddenly dropped off the border zone map.

Last Friday night, postcode 2483 was removed from the border bubble map that shows all suburbs eligible for a border zone declaration pass, also known as an X pass.

The X pass allows people from within the border bubble to cross into Queensland for any reason during the hard closure.

The map includes the Tweed Shire and the Gold Coast city.

 

A map released by the Queensland Government outlining postcodes within the
A map released by the Queensland Government outlining postcodes within the "border bubble".

The move left Tweed Shire residents whose postcode is 2483 "confused and concerned".

Tweed councillor James Owen wrote to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to clarify whether those residents would be eligible for an X pass.

Cr Owen said the postcode 2483 included Tweed Shire communities Burringbar, Crabbes Creek, Mooball, Sleepy Hollow and Wooyung.

"The recent announcement from the Queensland government of a border zone resident declaration pass (X pass) was an indication that finally our border communities were being considered," Cr Owen said.

"However, once again Tweed Shire communities have been left confused and concerned following the announcement that the postcode 2483 has been removed from the 'border bubble', after initially being included."

 

Tweed councillor James Owen. Picture: SCOTT POWICK.
Tweed councillor James Owen. Picture: SCOTT POWICK.

Cr Owen called on the Premier to "act quickly" and to announce the confirmation of their inclusion.

Gold Coast Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler on Saturday confirmed postcode 2483 was removed from the map because it included Brunswick Heads, which falls under the Byron Shire.

 

Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler. Picture: STEVE HOLLAND
Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler. Picture: STEVE HOLLAND

Supt Wheeler said there was confusion about a shared postcode and apologised to those residents who on Friday thought they could come to Queensland.

"There has to be a line somewhere and Byron Shire was deliberately excluded by the Health Chief Officer," he said.

 

Originally published as Sleeping at a pub: Border bungle leaves Coast man homeless


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