NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian addresses the 150-strong crowd at the Master Builders Association Cross Border conference on Thursday afternoon at Tweed's Twin Towns. Photo: Jessica Lamb
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian addresses the 150-strong crowd at the Master Builders Association Cross Border conference on Thursday afternoon at Tweed's Twin Towns. Photo: Jessica Lamb

NSW Premier bursts Ballina’s hopes of being inside bubble

THE NSW Premier has ruled out extending the 'border bubble' to Ballina during a building and construction industry address to Northern NSW and South East Queensland operators.

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Ms Berejiklian added while she welcomed 'outside the box suggestions' - like NSW paying for Queensland health officials to come to NSW construction sites to ensure COVID-19 safe measures were being followed - she would not 'shut off the northern end of the state'.

The NSW Premier explained creeping the border bubble down to include more towns would always disadvantage someone and affect the rest of the state's economy.

"For example, Queensland then wouldn't let a Sydney sider actually go to the Northern Rivers unless they quarantined for 14 days," Ms Berejiklian said.

"It would stall economic activities every where else."

During the Tweed's Twin Towns conference, Ms Berejiklian said she would bring the industry's plight to the attention of the Prime Minister.

"The irony is that South East Queensland is a much bigger threat to Northern NSW than Northern NSW is to South East Queensland," she said.

The 150-strong crowd at the Master Builders Association Cross Border conference yesterday outlined the devastating affects the most recent Queensland border crackdown has had on businesses.

It leave a short fall of $150 million worth of projects from the border to Ballina exacerbated by issues like sourcing specialty-skilled labour to install stairs and problems getting roofing, window and steel materials normally transported from Brisbane.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she does not hold out much hope for border restriction changes before the Queensland election during her video call to the 150-strong crowd at the Master Builders Association Cross Border yesterday.

"If I'm a realist I doubt she (the Queensland Premier) will budge before the Queensland election," Ms Berejiklian said.

A comment that brings little relief for the hundreds of contractors and small to medium business owners who struggle to keep their doors open.

Most must find a way to pay their suppliers and workers while unable to bring in cash by clearing current work from their books or take on new work waiting on supplies and contractors hamstrung by the border restrictions.

The NSW Premier explained her conversation with the Queensland Premier on Wednesday revolved around medical exemptions but committed to tackling the issue once again with Annastacia Palaszczuk at today's National Cabinet.

The general consensus from the building industry is most of the shortfalls could be fixed by once again including the industry in the list of 'essential workers' with exemptions to travel through the border without quarantining.


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