Police announce Qld border bubble to go ahead
The Gold Coast and Tweed will become a "border bubble" from 1am tomorrow with new mapping available showing eligible commuters, police have confirmed.
Gold Coast police superintendent Mark Wheeler told The Bulletin: "It will be the Tweed Shire Council area and the Gold Coast council area. It will start from 1am tomorrow morning.
"You can travel within that big bubble for any reason. It doesn't have to be for work.
"But if you step outside the border zone on either side of the border - for instance, if a Tweed Heads resident goes down to Lennox Head to do some surfing but works in Palm Beach, they won't be able to come into Queensland."
The resident would then have to pay for quarantine in a government-approved hotel.
But the most likely scenario would be police sending them back to NSW to quarantine before a return trip two weeks later.
Police say the "bubble" is very defined with Tweed residents who work in Brisbane unable to access the capital city.
"It's very defined. They recognise the cross border communities are very unique. But they only go as far north as Ormeau in the Gold Coast City Council area," Supt Wheeler said.
The new pass system would hopefully be available late this afternoon.
"So Smart Queensland are working on that. Obviously there are some technology issues they have to work through. There has to be validation of your home address, that's what they are working on at the moment," Supt Wheeler said.
He said he was not concerned about delays with the new system because police would be able to work off manual passes.
"The reality is the number of people eligible to come across at 1am will be a lot smaller than it is now," Supt Wheeler said.
Coast residents would be able to commute in the Tweed Shire as along they did not leave that area.
They would need an X-pass, to be updated every seven days, and identification showing an address.
Children who are with their parents will not need that identification.
"There will be inconvenience and delay all day today with the border traffic," Supt Wheeler said.
The Queensland Government defines a border zone resident as someone who lives in a community on the Queensland-New South Wales border.
This includes both sides of the border - people who live in Queensland but work or go to school in their neighbouring border town, or people who live in NSW but come to work or school in their neighbouring border town in Queensland. Border zone residents can cross the border for any purpose.
Queensland border zone residents cannot travel outside the border zone in NSW and NSW border zone residents cannot travel outside the border zone in either Queensland or NSW
Originally published as BREAKING: Police announce Gold Coast and Tweed 'border bubble'