Businesses ‘bloody desperate’ amid border blockade

 

A VETERAN Tweed councillor says small businesses in the shire are "so bloody desperate to survive" in the coronavirus crisis they are happy to see Victorians streaming north.

Tweed Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Warren Polglase believes businesses are willing to risk interactions to bolster their bottom line, despite the second wave.

"The hot spot locations which are coming out of Sydney have raised some issues, but the main people coming our way are from Victoria," the councillor said.

Tweed Shire councillor Warren Polglase.
Tweed Shire councillor Warren Polglase.

"Where do we draw the line, between the economy and controlling the virus? I think we've got to learn to live with the virus. You take a certain amount of risk in small business. And they're so bloody desperate to survive you take those little risks."

Meanwhile, Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick said on Sunday the Queensland Government was closely watching the escalating COVID-19 situation interstate.

Asked whether a complete border closure could be on the cards, Mr Dick said: "We have to monitor this day to day, week to week. That's the reality.

 

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"The virus is so unpredictable. Its only reason for existence is to find another host to infect another person.

"We just need to monitor it so carefully to ensure when we need to take action we will."

Victoria recorded 10 deaths, including a man only aged in his 40s, and 459 new cases of coronavirus yesterday. New South Wales recorded 14 new cases.

There were five active cases in Queensland as of Sunday and no new cases emerged over the weekend. Six people have died, there have been 1076 cases in total, with 1063 patients recovered and 502,468 tests conducted.

Police patrolling the border at Griffith St, Coolangatta. Picture: Adam Head
Police patrolling the border at Griffith St, Coolangatta. Picture: Adam Head

Liverpool and Campbelltown in Sydney and the whole state of Victoria remain hot spots. The Sydney city of Fairfield was also declared a hot spot last week.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has urged Victorians to wear a face mask to prevent more deaths.

"This is not about human rights," he said. "There are 10 families that are going to be burying someone in the next few days.

"Wear a mask - it's not too much to ask."

On Sunday, Cr Polglase said many small businesses in Tweed, like cafes and clothing stores, had been "just hanging in there".

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Tweed has been buoyed by Victorian visitors and those from further south in NSW, but Cr Polglase said the economic sugar hit was a poor replacement for the usual tourism boom.

Checkpoints have also added to the pressure on the Tweed economy and Cr Polglase said businesses were "really p---ed off".

COVID-19 checkpoints have led to long delays for border residents Picture: Adam Head
COVID-19 checkpoints have led to long delays for border residents Picture: Adam Head

But he backed the government's tough stance and said the implementation of the "unprecedented" border measures had a "learning curve".

"We've got to learn to live and work with it. We'll face days of frustration," he said.

"It's going to be really interesting when we have daylight saving."

Cr Polglase slammed "stupid fools" trying to flout Queensland border restrictions and said he does not support calls to move border checkpoints south or north.

Police will continue to randomly intercept vehicles at the border to check passes.

Providing false information on the Queensland Border Declaration Pass or entering Queensland unlawfully can result in a $4003 fine.

 

Originally published as Businesses 'bloody desperate' amid border blockade



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