'Southern Rivers' may be a better fit during COVID-19
SHOULD our region be known as the Southern Rivers of Queensland instead of the Northern Rivers of NSW for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis?
Shifting the border south and having checkpoints manned by NSW Police is one of the ideas being floated to ease the current border restrictions imposed by Queensland.
While many agree the border closure is a political stunt engineered by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to boost her popularity in the run home to this year's state election, it's come at a cost to residents on both sides of the border.
Even though there has been a softening on the issue of exemptions for people attending medical appointments, other sectors are suffering big time.
A huge number of workers simply cannot get across the border to go to work.
This impacts people living in NSW and working in Queensland and vice versa.
Health is one of the more critical sectors and there are several workarounds involving bringing staff from other health districts in NSW to work in our facilities, rather than waiting for any softening on the Queensland side of the fence.
A permanent business pass is another idea that has been suggested, along with limiting the flow of people in NSW north of Newcastle to create a COVID-19 free zone.
This might all sound like pie in the sky stuff but key influencers in government and business are the ones talking about this.
Everyone agrees the two premiers, Annastacia Palaszczuk and Gladys Berejiklian, need to pick up the phone and talk about some of these issues.
That's doesn't appear to be happening anytime soon.
So far, the two leaders have displayed a frosty relationship on the border closure issue.
It may fall to the NSW Government to come up with solutions for the Northern Rivers that may be outside the box a little.
We might be a neglected corner of NSW, but if we want to remain the Northern Rivers, and not the Southern Rivers, the time to act is now.