G.J. Gardner Homes Tweed Heads & Ballina managing director Peter Leotta addressing the 150 strong crowd at the Master Builders Association Cross Border conference at Tweed's Twin Towns. Photo: Jessica Lamb
G.J. Gardner Homes Tweed Heads & Ballina managing director Peter Leotta addressing the 150 strong crowd at the Master Builders Association Cross Border conference at Tweed's Twin Towns. Photo: Jessica Lamb

‘WORST CASE SCENARIO’: Fury at Qld border decision

THE building industry has been left gutted after Queensland announced it will reopen its border to Canberra on Friday.

As of Friday those from the ACT will be able to fly into the Sunshine State, while building and construction operators in South East Queensland and Northern NSW believe they have hit their "worst case scenario".

President of the Master Builders Association Tweed division Peter Leotta said the industry had exhausted all avenues and had still no response or acknowledgment from the Queensland Government.

"The Northern Rivers has also not had any COVID cases for the same amount of time as the ACT yet our businesses and industry are not being acknowledged," he said.

"For such a huge part of the state's GDP and economy - it is simply unbelievable to comprehend the highest efforts of our industry bodies that there is no opportunity to discuss how to get our industry back to work.

"We have been ignored."

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Master Builders Australia NSW are yet to hear back from submissions for work arounds to the border bubbles restrictions to the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk from August 14.

"Those worst case scenarios and worst case statistics are starting to be felt and we are starting to see that evidence come through," Mr Leotta said.

"Every business is impacted directly or indirectly … we are watching the implications unfold now.

"It has affected consumers, tradies, mum and dads homeowners and building companies."

Mr Leotta, GJ Gardner Homes Tweed Heads managing director, said it was "unbelievable" what was achieved for the agricultural industry within 48 hours to have a specialty border pass could not done for building and construction.

"Agriculture is one 30th of the size of building and constructions contribution to the percentage of the state's GDP," he said.

"It is unacceptable to believe this cannot also be undertaken for our industry given the size and the sheer contribution we give on a state and national perspective.

"We feel we have a two week window. In two weeks the Queensland government are in caretaker and I believe then nothing will change it will just be maintaining status quo.

"We have an industry on its last legs, ripped apart and devastated."



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