Nationals Member for Tweed Geoff Provest has welcomed the re-establishment of the special border zone between Queensland and 12 NSW local government areas including the Tweed, saying it is a big win for local families, patients, children, and businesses.
“Thank you to everyone in the Tweed for putting up with so much over the past month and thank you to Nationals Leader John Barilaro who skilfully negotiated this great outcome which didn’t seem very likely 24 hours ago,” Mr Provest said.
The 12 Local Government Areas (LGAs) included in the border bubble are Tweed Ballina, Byron, City of Lismore, Clarence Valley, Glen Innes Severn, Gwydir, Inverell, Kyogle, Moree Plains, Richmond Valley, and Tenterfield.
Mr Provest confirmed that from 1am Monday (September 13), Tweed residents can once again cross the border for essential work, school, essential shopping, medical reasons or caring for people
Essential work means any work or volunteering that cannot be reasonably done from home and people crossing the border for essential work will need to have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. NSW residents are not able to cross the border for recreation or social visits.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said an agreement to include the 12 LGAs in the border bubble was reached following discussions with Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles.
“There’s no doubt that our border communities have copped the brunt of these border closures, and the reintroduction of the border bubble will provide a long overdue sense of normality for locals,” Mr Barilaro said.
“We’ve been able to reach this agreement because Northern border residents have done such a great job abiding by the lockdown rules. I thank you all so much and I encourage everyone to keep getting vaccinated to continue to unlock new freedoms in our communities.”
Residents will still require a Border Zone Travel (X Pass) to cross the border, which can be obtained at www.qld.gov.au/border-pass
Nationals Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said Mr Barilaro had pulled off a master stroke in negotiating the restoration of a border zone that will again include the Richmond and Clarence Valleys.
“It was only a few days ago that Queensland said the border wouldn’t reopen for months and people were pinning their hopes on police checkpoints being moved south – but not far enough south to include Casino, let alone Grafton,” Mr Gulaptis said.