Moree mayor urges northern residents to flick Queensland

Look elsewhere for business than Queensland: Moree mayor

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Near the Queensland border.

Near the Queensland border.

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'Hard questions have to be asked'

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Moree Shire mayor Katrina Humphries has urged northern NSW residents to snub Queensland for education and business in the wake of the recent harsh border closure.

And a senior NSW Minister says he's been snubbed by Queensland for asking for more consultation over the border closure.

Mrs Humphries said the renewed harsh closure was hurting businesses and families and NSW should respond by looking elsewhere in NSW for what they currently get in Queensland.

She said she was making the plea with a heavy heart after seeing how families were being torn apart.

Moree mayor Katrina Humphries says it's time to ask serious questions about doing business with Queensland after the harsh new border closure over COVID-19.

Moree mayor Katrina Humphries says it's time to ask serious questions about doing business with Queensland after the harsh new border closure over COVID-19.

"With a heavy heart I wish to ask our community some very relevant questions," she said..

"In light of COVID 19 our world has changed and our local environment area is now being heavily impacted with the unmanageable restrictions being put on our residents by the Queensland Government.

"Is the time coming for our families to start pulling their children out of Queensland schools? We have a basic human right to be able to see our kids, with border closures our accessibility to our kids is non-existent, and is this good for families? Anxiety levels are enormous non only from the parents but also from the students.

"Has the time come for our Northern NSW residents to seek medical services in NSW? At a time of uncertainty should we be making arrangements for our health needs to be catered for in NSW as urgent health treatment has no warning.

"When it comes to planning limited breaks, and we all need them, look at NSW areas, we can move freely with good planning and abiding by COVID 19 management rules, so plan for a break in NSW.

"We have a bumper harvest coming (God willing) and if our markets in Queensland are un reachable perhaps the time is coming to prepare to sell to NSW based companies so we can keep our cash flows happening.

"These questions need to be asked, I believe. We have to work out a way of living with COVID 19 for the time being and sadly for Queensland it appears they do not want or need our long time and fruitful relationship to continue. None of us need fair weather friends and most importantly we need to be able to function to the best of our ability.

"If that ability comes through necessity, we have to make plans to deal with it. We are very fortunate to have options for now, and these questions need to be asked, talked about and very sadly possibly enacted on."

Also read: NSW changes unfathomable

Northern Tablelands MP and Agriculture Mininster Adam Marshall joined the chorus of anger at the sudden and severe closure of the border, saying he will leave no stone unturned to get Queensland to make more concessions.

"Late yesterday I received a reply from the office of the Premier of Queensland to my numerous letters regarding concerns and proposed changes to the Queensland/NSW border closure restrictions," Mr Marshall said.

"The reply was under the hand of the Premier's Principal Advisor and it wasn't a so much a reply, as a flick pass, indicating the Premier had referred the matter to her Deputy Premier and Minister for Health 'for consideration', as the responsible Minister.

"To say I'm disappointed with this response is a gross understatement. The Queensland Premier was front and centre last week announcing the hasty 'hard border', but is nowhere to be seen now when the tough questions are put about border exemptions, definitions and the ridiculously small and ill-conceived postcode boundary bubble.

"Our residents, especially farmers, contractors and parents of students away at school in Queensland are flummoxed and frustrated by the hard border imposition.

"The hurt inflicted by this border closure is real and completely needless, given the obvious low health risks in our region.

"Protecting Queensland residents from the COVID-19 pandemic is obviously paramount for the Premier, but it's hard to reconcile how the health risks posed by various activities are determined.

"I mean, every pub and club in metropolitan Brisbane (where there are current active cases) are open, trading and welcoming in patrons, but a country NSW-based agronomist cannot cross the border to perform their critical work on a farm in a place like Inglewood.

"I've been inundated with more than 200 letters, emails and phone calls from people and agricultural businesses owners who have had their lives turned upside down of late. I thank every one of those people for sharing their story and the distress and economic loss this sudden border closure has caused.

"I'll continue to work with my NSW parliamentary colleagues, of all political persuasions, and local councils to have the border zone boundaries extended, from postcodes to local government boundaries. This would resolve many of the significant issues and has the support of everyone on the NSW side of the border.

"I'll leave no stone unturned in my efforts on behalf of residents and communities, to see some sensible changes made to the hard border."

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