NSW calls for changes to northern border restrictions

Published: 2 September 2020

NSW calls for changes to northern border restrictions

The NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Member for Tweed Geoff Provest have today called for restrictions on the northern border to be eased to better support residents living in those border communities.


Mr Barilaro said healthcare workers, medical patients, boarding school students and construction workers are among the groups for which exemptions should be made.

“My number one priority is the safety of our communities and to stop the spread of this virus, but there are unique circumstances facing border communities which need to be taken into account,” Mr Barilaro said.

“I’ve spent time on both the northern border and the southern border in the past fortnight and down south we have made changes off the back of community feedback and data which showed a significant drop in COVID cases in Victoria.

“The northern border presents a different challenge as Queensland has enforced the closure, but we are not Victoria and with virtually no cases of infection in regional NSW, I am calling on the Queensland Government to reconsider restrictions.

“We need to enable patients and healthcare workers to move more freely between NSW and Queensland especially in emergency situations, allow children to go to school and see their families, and ensure vital industries like construction continue to thrive by allowing tradespeople through the border.

“The Member for Tweed Geoff Provest will co-chair a new Northern Borders Recovery Committee to look at economic and social impacts of the border closure.”

Mr Provest said the new Northern Borders Recovery Committee will provide real, on-ground advice about the economic and social issues brought on by the border closure.

“Industries have experienced significant decline in revenue and people who are unable to obtain a permit are experiencing financial and emotional distress,” Mr Provest said.

“I, along with my community, do not want to see a spike in cases, however crossing the border is part of our daily lives in Tweed and it is crucial that a compromise is met.”

The NSW Government will now develop a plan to address the needs of border communities while still ensuring NSW communities remain safe from the spread of COVID-19.

To keep up to date with the latest details about border permits and border zone information, go to: www.nsw.gov.au/COVID-19.

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