Mayor discusses idea of shutting council borders
AS THE southwest continues to be one of the few places in Queensland without a case of coronavirus, shutting council has been an idea increasingly discussed, including Balonne's Local Disaster Management team.
On Monday, the Balonne Shire mayor Richard Marsh and the Local Disaster Management Group discussed shutting the shire borders to limit the spread of COVID-19.
"It was raised at the meeting and point black - council cannot close the borders," Cr Marsh said.
"We don't have the authority to do that.
"If it was going to happen, it would have to come from a higher authority than council."
The mayor said too many problems would arise if the shire couldn't access products and services from the south.
"The amount of product that comes across the border that needs to come from southern suppliers is huge," Cr Marsh said.
"Then we have Mungindi on the border - the hospital on the Queensland side and the commercial is on the NSW side.
"So that creates problems for both sides of the border."
Cr Marsh said with the town of Hebel and its proximity to Lightening Ridge that most residents in Hebel gravitate south to get their goods and services from the larger centre.
"A shire closure just can't happen," he said.
"Evening closing the border between New South Wales and Queensland is difficult.
"There's going to have to be permits issued there because of all the products coming from down south."
As it stands, Queensland currently has 397 confirmed cases of COVID-19, most located in the southeast corner.
Queensland are imposing state border restrictions from midnight tonight with premier Annastacia Palaszczuk stating the border would only remain open to freight and essential travel.
"Unless you're returning home to Queensland or coming to Queensland for an essential purpose like work or a medical appointment, or freight issues, then the border is closed to you," Ms Palaszczuk said.