Forum to air business worries over hard border closure

BUSINESSES struggling to cope with the unintentional consequences of Queensland's hard border closure will get a chance to air their concerns at a forum on Friday.

Business NSW are hosting a Zoom meeting with the NSW Cross Border Commissioner James McTavish.

According to Business NSW's Northern Rivers regional manager, Jane Laverty, the border closure had highlighted unintended consequences to the region's businesses and the community more broadly.

"Health risks have increased in Queensland so we understand that restrictions must be tightened to meet the health objectives of government," she said.

"However, we must ensure local businesses will be in a position to come out the other side with the capacity to recover.

"In the case of the Northern Rivers, Brisbane is our closest major city and is inextricably linked to us for trade and economic development.

"We have many Northern Rivers based businesses and workers who service Brisbane and the wider Queensland community and similarly our businesses in the region rely on services and customers that come from across Queensland."

Ms Laverty said mechanisms needed to exist between the two governments to find practical solutions that did not unnecessarily damage business and the livelihoods that depend on them when restrictions were tightened.

"It is likely that we will need to adjust to a longer-term COVID safe economy and this needs a strategy for how the Northern Rivers region, as a cross border community, can safely interact, work, trade and service within the Queensland market," she said.

"We ask the Queensland Premier again to appoint a Queensland Cross Border Commissioner so that we can cooperatively develop this strategy for loosening or tightening restrictions with minimised and managed risk to business, jobs and livelihoods in times of constant change."

To take part in a Zoom meeting with the NSW Cross Border Commissioner this coming Friday contact jane.laverty@businessnsw.com

Northern Rivers' based MLC Ben Franklin will also take part in the panel.



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