Tweed Shire Council, Media Release, 27 August 2021
Gathering data in support of Tweed Cross Border Community Zone
Business owners are urgently invited to share the impact of the current Queensland border closure on their operations, as part of efforts to support the creation of a new border zone.
A simple online form has been published on Council’s website encouraging businesses from both sides of the border to report issues arising from border restrictions and their impact on day-to-day operations.
Council’s Senior Economic Development Officer Kym Kranen said information collected will be used to create a clearer picture on the impact of the ongoing situation in the border area. This information will be used to support a united call from politicians across the political spectrum for the establishment of a Tweed Cross Border Community Zone.
The group, which includes Mayor of Tweed Chris Cherry and local State MPs from Tweed, Lismore, Byron and Ballina, is seeking an urgent path forward to address the economic and social toll the closure is having on the Northern Rivers and Southern Gold Coast.
Speaking on behalf of the group earlier this week, Cr Cherry said the combination of lockdown and hard border closure meant residents and businesses were experiencing extremely harsh restrictions, with some business owners and their staff unable to physically access their premises.
Ms Kranen said the group was advocating for the creation of a new border zone but required facts and figures to support their case.
“This online survey provides a quick and easy way businesses can report how many staff are affected by the restrictions, particularly how many staff are unable to get to work, and the main impacts on normal operations of the business,” Ms Kranen said.
“By collecting this information from as many businesses as possible, we hope to present a strong case economically for the establishment of a border bubble which allow many business to remain viable.
“Hopefully, this information can be presented to the Premiers of NSW and Queensland and influence them into introducing a pilot Tweed Cross Border Community Zone.”
Sam Saulwick, who owns The Bread Social bakery in Bay Street, Tweed Heads, just one block south of the Queensland border, said almost 40% of his staff were unable to attend work due to the current border closure.
“Anything that can be done to ease the burden for businesses and staff is worth a go,” Mr Saulwick said.
“Of our 48 staff located at our Tweed Heads store, 22 are now unable to attend work as they live in Queensland while some have made the decision to relocate to NSW temporarily to continue their employment.
“Our revenue is down approximately 40% this week with our wholesale side of the business unable to cross the border to service half of our customers.
“We are in support of a change to establish a border bubble immediately.”
To fill out the Border Business Impact Form go to tweed.nsw.gov.au/covid-19-business-assistance.