Tweed Mayor Katie Milne. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Tweed Mayor Katie Milne. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

Tweed mayor calls for nationwide 14-day shutdown

TWEED Shire mayor has called for an immediate national 14-day lockdown to reduce the impacts of the coronavirus crisis.

In a statement released on Friday, Katie Milne said the longer the country dawdles, the greater the pain would be.

"With mixed opinions from the health experts on whether to lock down or not in response to the coronavirus (Covid-19), it appears the safest option is the best option," she said.

"We… are in a tourism mecca with an international airport with its potential super-spreaders, a lot of elderly and vulnerable people in our shire … and hospital facilities that were already over stretched.

"The only successful way countries are controlling this is by locking down all non-essential activities. Halfway options are for when it's under control - not when we don't have the medical supports in place yet.

"The Australian Government needs do a national lockdown for two weeks immediately and then reassess. I have called on our local members of state and federal parliaments to support this call."

Councillor Milne's plea came just days before the Prime Minister's address today (Sunday) where all non-essential travel within Australia has been recommended to be halted and a warning there will be tougher measures to contain localised virus outbreaks.

The National Cabinet meeting has been brought forward to tonight to address the matter urgently.

Cr Milne said the international experience has shown that when proper treatment can be

provided, the death rate is vastly reduced.

"The longer we contain the virus the more time our medical staff will have to prepare beds, protective equipment and supplies," she said.

"We need to protect our doctors and nurses and citizens with an orderly, controlled

outbreak, not the full-blown version.

"I know this would hit businesses hard but if we nip the first wave in the bud quickly,

we will have a much better chance of avoiding even larger economic impacts and

loss of life if the outbreak is not controlled.

"We must all, especially landlords, banks and governments be as supportive

economically as we can. The council will consider how it can best support those directly

and negatively affected by the current pandemic so that any measures provide relief

to those most in need."