Mayor urges border move
The Gold Coast Mayor wants the Queensland border moved south.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate has proposed moving the border 7 kilometres south, in order to ease the border traffic problems created by COVID-19 checkpoints.
“It really makes natural sense,” he said.
“Mother nature has got Tweed River there and all I'm saying is that have the border line and you feel like once you cross from Banora Point to Chinderah, that's when most people feel that they've entered NSW, so … make it come good.”
Cr Tate wants the Queensland Premier to discuss his proposal with her New South Wales counterpart and even take it to National Cabinet.
While some consider the proposal a joke, it has drawn attention to the odd placing of the border. Currently, state lines run through the middle of the town of Tweed Heads, winding its way awkwardly through urban streets before bisecting the Gold Coast Airport.
“A third of the airport is actually in New South Wales,” historian and University of Queensland Emeritus Professor Peter Spearritt told the ABC.
“When the border was closed for the COVID-19 lockdown, the NSW passengers could have disembarked on one side of the airport, and the Queensland passengers could have got out on the other side,” he joked.
From the airport, the border meanders north of the Tweed River — a natural feature now being suggested as a better line of delineation.
The state lines create havoc in summer, with the town split into two different time zones, and there can be up to a 30 per cent difference in property values.
The line between Queensland and New South Wales was drawn amid a political storm in the late 1850s, with squatters in the Armidale and New England districts keen to remain connected to their power base in Sydney, which was the capital of the richest colony on the continent at the time.
It was eventually agreed that the line would be drawn around 28 degrees south. It was not specifically along the line of the Tweed River, but close enough at the time, as there were only small settlements on either side of the river.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has not spoken favourably of the idea.