At last! Queensland opens border to NSW & Victoria

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The ‘welcome back’ signs at Cairns Airport sums up the feelings of pretty much everybody. PIC: Cairns Airport / ABC

It’s been closed, opened, closed, partially opened, and now … hopefully finally … the border between Queensland and New South Wales is fully open again.

From 1am, the Sunshine State has been welcoming visitors from all of Victoria and New South Wales, although the border currently remains shut to South Australia due to the recent Covid outbreak there.

Police Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler told the ABC that people no longer needed passes, but mandatory quarantine rules were still in place for any South Australians wanting to come up for a holiday.

The ABC reports that the notorious ‘wheeler wall’ has been pulled down and the rest of the border infrastructure including SES tents and hundreds of metres of concrete barriers along the M1 will be removed over coming days.

Superintendent Wheeler said it had been a ‘complex and mammoth operation’, but it was hoped traffic would still flow without long delays.

“We are really happy these two communities — Coolangatta and Tweed — can be joined again,” he said. “This was not something we wanted to do of course, but we had to bring into effect the Chief Health Officer’s directions and it has worked.”

Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) general manager Brett Kepernick told the ABC that tourists from New South Wales and Victoria potentially bring in $20 million a day into Queensland during the Christmas-New Year season.

He said opening the border was ‘putting a bit of festive season back into Christmas’.

“It will certainly make a huge difference for Christmas, but the real problem is a lot of the regions are having difficulties getting staffing,” Mr Kepernick said. “So even though we might be flooded now with people coming back to the state, we are going to find it difficult to service them.”

He said it was a ‘fantastic day’ for the industry.

“We are hoping the system will elongate into the new year and months ahead because people have been cooped up for so long,” Mr Kepernick said. “It is great to have out southern neighbours back,”

  • Are you happy to see the border finally come down? Will you be heading into Queensland in the next little while? Comment below
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