Police checking drivers at the Gold Coast Highway checkpoint in July, 2020 in Coolangatta, Australia.
Police checking drivers at the Gold Coast Highway checkpoint in July, 2020 in Coolangatta, Australia.

Increased virus numbers could burst the bubble

RUMOURS of an impending even harder border closure this weekend would be devastating for the Tweed according to a shire councillor.

Should restrictions tighten due to coronavirus case numbers in NSW and Queensland, the 'border bubble' covering southern Gold Coast and Tweed shire postcodes would more than likely cease to exist.

Councillor James Owen said areas on either side of the state line would be 'devastated'.

"If Victoria and NSW have spikes today I think (the Queensland Premier) would move quickly to close the borders," he said.

"It would mean thousands of people cut off from work, family, health appointments and effectively put an end to community sport."

Mr Owen said ideally Tweed needs to be included in a coronavirus border shutdown.

"This might mean potentially moving the checkpoints further south of Tweed," he said.

"We are trying to avoiding bursting the bubble."

The councillor reiterated his commitment to advocating for the inclusion of the 2483 postcode which is not currently included in the border residents special pass for the 'border bubble'.

The postcode includes Byron and Tweed shire suburbs which has left those in the Burringbar, Crabbes Creek, Mooball, Sleepy Hollow and Wooyung unable to access the X pass.

"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," Mr Owen said.

"It's causing confusion and major stress for people.

"I have talked to another lady in Crabbes Creek who cannot travel to her church in the Gold Coast."

Earlier this week, councillor James Owen said he had confirmed shire communities with the postcode 2483 were now eligible for a border zone resident declaration pass.

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

Queensland Police Superintendent Mark Wheeler said officers manning the borders were acting on the direction of Queensland Health.

"At the moment 2483 is not recognised as part of the border zone," he said.

It is understood the decision about including the postcode will be made in the coming days.

A Queensland Health spokeswoman said the most up-to-date information about areas included in the 'border bubble' and exemption applications for health professionals and patients were avaliable on their website.

The 2483 is not included in the border bubble on the Queensland Health website.