Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Patrick Woods

Queensland could invade the Tweed

IF YOU thought this story was a beat up you’re wrong.

A spokesman for Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk late today did not shut down debate over a proposal to extend the Sunshine State’s border south from Coolangatta to take in the area from Tweed Heads to Evans Head.

“Many residents of northern NSW have a greater affinity with us, particularly with the Gold Coast and broader south-east Queensland,” the spokesman said.

“Like us, they love Queensland.”

Tweed MP Geoff Provest labelled the idea as fanciful, but the spokesman said the idea of moving the border was an age-old suggestion.

“Northern NSW joining Queensland has been discussed since the 1800’s,” he said.

“There was a proposal for the border to be 30 degrees south latitude, so that would have been a border just south of Grafton.”

But asked if the Quensland Government would extend the Gold Coast light rail to Kingscliff in time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the spokesman did not sound too hopeful.

“We would certainly encourage the people of northern NSW to attend the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast,” he said.

“It’s going to be a fantastic event for everyone to enjoy. Queensland is proud to host it.”

Tweed MP Geoff Provest said the comments came as a surprise to him and NSW Premier Mike Baird, but were unlikely to come to fruition with two costly referendums in each state required before the switch could be made.

“It took me by surprise, traditionally they’re very resilient when negotiating cross-border issues, and now they want to take over the Tweed,” Mr Provest said.

“I don’t think they have the ability to take over the Tweed and I have grave concerns they only have a Double A-credit rating.”

Mr Provest said final negotiations were underway into a new Memorandum of Understanding between the two states to update the 2011 agreement.

He said h’d like to see daylight savings, bus authorisations, Go Card, the transfer of mental health patients, transfer of information of domestic violence between authorities addressed in the new MOU.

But Ms Palaszczuk’s spokesman ruled out any possibility of adopting daylight saving.

“Queensland doesn’t have daylight saving and there’s no plan for its introduction,” he said.

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