SYDNEY, Sep 22, 2020, 9News. Queensland will shift its border zone, bringing in five New South Wales local government areas – including Byron and Ballina. From 1am on October 1, the following shires will be added to the border zone: Byron, Ballina, Lismore, Richmond Valley, and Glen Innes, 9News reported.
Residents will have to apply for a border pass to travel into Queensland.
Queensland residents will also be able to travel to those areas from October 1.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said there were 152,000 residents in the border zones who would now be able to travel into Queensland.
“These are people who might live in New South Wales but very often they feel a closer affinity to Queensland,” Mr Miles said.
“They live closer to Queensland than they do to Sydney.
“Many of us see these places like Byron and Ballina as local places and this means that we will be able to travel there.”
Queensland has recorded no new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hour reporting period and just 16 cases remain active.
The state government says it now considers there to have been nobody infectious in the Queensland community for the past 12 days.
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said if there continued to be very low or no new cases, further restrictions could be relaxed from Friday.
“Hopefully that will happen as we go into the weekend, and people in Brisbane and Ipswich will be able to gather in groups of 30,” Dr Young said.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said discussions were underway with businesses and community groups around further COVID-safe planning.
“At the end of the month we’ll also be looking at any other restrictions we can ease across Queensland,” she said.
Meanwhile New South Wales recorded zero cases of community transmission in the last 24 hour reporting period.
“For the first time in some months we had zero community transmission,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said today.
She said she welcomed the news that South Australia is opening its borders and has spoken to Ms Palaszczuk.
“I also received a call from the Queensland premier indicating that a number of local government areas would now be included in the border zones which means there’s less stress for some of our communities in northern NSW.”
Ms Berejiklian called on her counterpart to extend this exemption to all of NSW given the low cases.