REOPENING: Mixed feelings still remain about easing border restrictions. Photo: Scott Powick Newscorp
REOPENING: Mixed feelings still remain about easing border restrictions. Photo: Scott Powick Newscorp

Border closures criticised as a ‘pretend lockout’

BORDER towns have relished the announcement that Queensland will reopen to all states, excluding Victoria, come July 10, but some say the news will make little difference to already unregulated closures.

In Tenterfield, grazier Colin Chevally said he knew plenty of residents who crossed for “inessential services” the entirety of the border blockade.

“There were people going to shop for winter clothes in Stanthorpe,” he said.

“There’s been two-way traffic all along. I have friends who own property on the northeast corner near Casino and it took them 50 minutes to get through the border but here it’s all been a bit of a pretend sort of close.”

Border police and army personnel at Wallangarra. PHOTO: Ashley Wren
Border police and army personnel at Wallangarra. PHOTO: Ashley Wren

Mr Chevally, who buys feed from Killarney, said he himself had no problem getting over the border with a pass but feared the closures could have hurt business regardless.

“Anna has done the right thing protecting her state on one hand, but for business and all this it’s been troubling.” he said.

“I hope now caravan parks are doing an all-right trade, banked up with visitors waiting to get in on July 10.”

More concerning to Mr Chevally, however, was the possibility Victoria visitors could sneak in.

According to the Premier, those crossing would have to sign a border declaration to ensure no-one entering the state had travelled to Victoria in the past 14 days.

If falsified, visitors could face fines up to $4000.

But Mr Chevally doubted the consequences would be enough to deter everyone.

“I’m sure they would (lie),” he said

“Good honest people won’t but others will find some way around it.

“Personally, I still think even a two-week lock up is not enough. In Melbourne, there are those refusing to get tested.”

The latest round of relaxing restrictions is predicted to pump $520 million a month into the economy and support an additional 50,000 jobs – without including interstate tourist dollar.


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