LOCKED OUT: Stanthorpe Police patrolling one of the Queensland-NSW border crossing points. Picture: contributed
LOCKED OUT: Stanthorpe Police patrolling one of the Queensland-NSW border crossing points. Picture: contributed

BORDER BATTLE: Region already struggling with closure

SOUTHERN Downs residents are already battling through the fallout from the second round of border closures.

On Saturday at 1am, Queensland's borders closed to NSW and the ACT as well as Victoria in an effort to control the spread of the coronavirus.

For Jennings Hotel owner Lynne Schenck, located just on the NSW side of Wallangarra, the border blockade has reduced her takings to less than $100 a day.

"We have no access to tourists or customers along the highway anymore - you have to know how to get to me to come here, and they've successfully cut that off," Ms Schenck said.

"Anyone from outside the area cuts down the highway and misses us. It's completely isolated now, they've isolated us, and it's not a healthy picture at all.

"There's people who have always lived in (Jennings and Wallangarra) as one town, but now if you want to drive to the general store, you need to have a border pass."

Member for Southern Downs James Lister agreed, saying he had been "inundated" with complaints from residents about the closure's impact on their daily lives.

"Constituents on both sides of the border have discovered this morning that they cannot send their children to school, cannot buy groceries, cannot go to work, service clients, or tend their animals," Mr Lister said.

"My office has been working with the Premier's office today to flag these urgent issues on behalf of people on both sides of the border.

"The border closure is a necessary move to protect Queensland from coronavirus and I think everyone understands this … (but) the burden mustn't fall on our people alone."

At a press conference this morning, State Disaster Co-ordinator Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said 506 of the 9046 vehicles checked at the border on the weekend were turned away.

"We have had to issue six penalty infringement notices for untruthful declarations from people trying to get into our state," he said.

"They were, of course, refused entry into our state."


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