Adjournment: Coronavirus, Queensland Border Closure

Mrs GERBER (Currumbin—LNP) (7.32 pm): It is my job to be a voice for my community. Since the Premier announced on Twitter last Wednesday that she was closing Queensland’s borders and this week has thrown up the possibility of bursting the border bubble—a border bubble with a locals pass that my community and I fought so hard to achieve—my office has been flooded with calls, emails and visits from constituents who wanted to share with me how this is going to severely and negatively impact their lives and their work. It is my job to give them a voice in this parliament. Mike from Currumbin writes—

The negative impact on border community businesses and postcode restraints is already causing serious economic stress but to ‘burst the bubble’ will devastate border businesses with workers, and work, on both sides of the border. This is not in Queensland’s interests, nor in the national interest.

Rebecca from John Flynn Hospital writes that her antenatal patients from outside the border bubble, many of whom are at the 36-week mark in their pregnancy, will now not have continuity of care and will have to find a different hospital to have their baby. Katrina from Coolangatta writes—

As you would understand we have been juggling the border restrictions for months … I haven’t complained before, even when my 3 and 21 month old are screaming in the afternoon as we sit in traffic for an hour just to get home, but I have no other options now.

Her manufacturing business, just 30 minutes from her Queensland home, is just outside the border bubble. She writes—

We risk closing down the facility and putting over 20 families on jobkeeper. Tracey from Currumbin Waters writes— We are self employed with a truck and excavator. For the past 4 months my husband has been working on job sites in Ballina and Lennox Heads. If we don’t go to these job sites to work we will go Broke. Please help us.

That is why I am calling on the Premier: to allow Queensland workers working in northern New South Wales an exemption to go to work while these communities remain COVID-free; to rule out bursting the border bubble that my community and I fought so hard to achieve; and to rule out yet another drastic change to conditions on the border that will cause nothing but chaos and confusion for my community.

Threatening to burst the border bubble, discriminating against the majority because of a few bad eggs, is sheer hypocrisy from the Premier, who is happy to have Victorian football players who flout the rules stay in Queensland. Please, while our communities are COVID-free, do not prevent Queenslanders who live near the border from being able to go to work, from being able to run their small businesses and from being able to go about the essential parts of their daily lives that all Queenslanders and people right across Australia are able to do right now. It is so important to my community that we get the Premier to do these things that I have called for.