Rural towns forgotten in 50KM travel rulings
IT WAS the announcement meant to reward Queenslander's adherence to coronavirus restrictions, but those most socially distant fear they've been forgotten.
Peter Solomon is one of many residents who will feel little relief when 50km travel rules come into place tomorrow.
Mr Solomon, who lives in Texas, said the distance couldn't even get him to his nearest bakery in Inglewood.
"50km gets me to the bush on the side of the road in every direction," he said.
"This business is great if you live on the eastern seaboard but they've completely forgotten life in rural places."
The Goondiwindi Council region, which spans 19,258 sqm, has had no cases of coronavirus - something which Mr Solomon said should be taken into account.
"Surely if we've had no cases residents should be able to move within that region freely," he said.
"But there is no reward - no benefit at all."
State member James Lister said he had heard of similar complaints from constituents within the Southern Downs.
"Although I welcome the additional freedom for city people, a 50km limit looks like yet another decision made in Brisbane, by Brisbane, for Brisbane," he said.
"After seeing the botched closure of the border in our area, the bush-only ban on fishing, and the bizarrely heavy-handed closure of gun shops, I am no longer surprised.
"If someone in Stanthorpe wants to travel into Warwick, which seems pretty reasonable to me, they can't because it is more than 50km."
In a statement from Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, she applauded the effort of rural residents and said travel for essential tasks such as groceries, medicines, medical appointments, education, work and caring for someone would remain unaffected.
"Those restrictions have been eased slightly to allow people to go a little wider afield and for the added reason of recreation. The 50 kilometre limit to travel for recreational purposes applies because we are keen to continue to limit mass movements and keep a lid on the virus, "she said.
"This weekend is a test run. If we can enjoy this very small step towards a return to normal life without a spike in infections then we take another step. And another.
"The Premier encourages everyone to stick to the rules so we can take those further steps and continue on the road back both in terms of the health emergency and the economic one."