League greats cry Blue murder over border switch
To say that NSW rugby league legend and Tweed resident Ray Price is not a fan of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate's plan to move the Queensland border south is an understatement.
"I don't like f---ing Queenslanders," the Parramatta Eels great and former NSW Blues captain said.
His comments come after Mayor Tate this week called for a referendum to be held in tandem with the October state election on moving the border south to the Tweed River.
Cr Tate reckoned Tweed residents would "love" to be part of the Gold Coast and having the border on the Tweed River "makes natural sense".
Price, a retired cross-border bus driver who is battling cancer, has to deal with the border checkpoint chaos to get to medical appointments at Tugun's John Flynn Hospital.
But he said he could never contemplate becoming a "cane toad".
"Look, it doesn't matter where they move the bloody border to if people don't do what they're told," he said, referring to Victorians and Sydney COVID-19 hotspot residents trying to sneak across the border.
His sentiments were shared by another former NSW league star, Neil "Bing" Pringle, a Balmain Tigers legend who ran border hospitality venues for 40 years.
"I live at Kirra but luckily I have a farm over the border which enables me to keep my NSW licence - I refuse to get a Queensland licence," he said with a chuckle.
"I do my best to stop all you bastards (Queenslanders) from coming any further south than Griffith St (Coolangatta)."
But Tweed businesses are divided over the border issue.
Nicole James, golf development manager at Tweed Heads-Coolangatta Golf Club, which has most of its members in Queensland, said the existing border presented some challenges but should probably be left as is.
"We're a border club, so we've got a foot in each state," she said.
"Would it be easier for us if the border was moved south? Maybe, but then there are still members who would live south of the new border anyway.
"There's always some challenges, whether it's daylight savings or whatever. It keeps us on our toes."
The Tweed Heads Bowls Club has a first-hand view of the border checkpoint congestion.
General Manager Gerard Robinson said it would make more sense for the border to be moved south to the natural boundary of the Tweed River, though it would not be easy.
That would place the club firmly in Queensland territory, but Mr Robinson said that would not sway his allegiance come State of Origin time.
"I'm born and bred in Victoria," he said.
"I wouldn't have any issue being a Queenslander."