‘There could be massive job losses’, MP warns
THERE will be "massive job losses" and millions of dollars lost in the construction industry if "border bubble" issues are not resolved soon, a local MP has warned.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest said he had been approached by five major builders with more than $170 million worth of projects, who are concerned about the implications of the Queensland border closure.
He said tradies and contractors often came from out of area and most of the region's material manufacturing was completed in Brisbane.
"We could be looking at massive job losses," Mr Provest said.
Those who live in specific border towns postcodes in the Tweed and Gold Coast, referred to as the 'border bubble', may cross the NSW and Queensland border on a special pass but not travel outside those areas.
As revealed with medical workers who live in Queensland but work in NSW, there is a double-standard in border restrictions.
Likewise, John Flynn Private Hospital, just across the border in Queensland at Tugun, has also faced complications as staff struggle to get passes.
"About 80 police out of our 200 live in Queensland and the police district extends down to Byron, which is outside the bubble," Mr Provest said.
"We got special exemptions for them which are valid until Saturday and we are looking at extending them."
Mr Provest explained his office has been "run off its feet" with border queries from urgent medical appointments to questions about attending work.
He said the latest changes to the Queensland border closure has left "seriously ill patients unable to attend specialist appointments north of the border and staff unable to attend their jobs if they live outside the 'border bubble'".
Mr Provest argued the closure in its current form presents "a far greater health risk to Tweed and Gold Coast locals than COVID-19".
"Despite the Tweed having even lower infection rates than Queensland, we are on our fifth or sixth permit system and the problems are simply multiplying," he said.
"Work sites are waiting on vital building supplies and Queensland delivery drivers are unable to return home."