The Aboriginal Shire Council of Cherbourg in South-East Queensland is currently on alert and has introduced travel restrictions on Wednesday in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19 into the community.
The decision was made by the Cherbourg Local Disaster Management Group and limits who has access to the community, only allowing people involved in the provision of essential services in.
On Friday, NITV News spoke to Mayor Arnold Murray, who said he was particularly worried for his people who were elderly and those who lived in large families.
“We got a lot of elderly people and people at home here throughout the community and we’re only five to six kilometres away from the next town and that’s a problem,” said Mr Murray.
“We have issues with housing, you know. We’ve got large families staying with families and if one gets it, they all get it and we don’t want that.
“We need to do the right thing and don’t go travelling around. We don’t want people to go away for the weekend. We want people to stay home just to be on the safe side.”
Mr Murray said he was also worried during the time of sorry business, which meant keeping people away from outside of the community.
“Just like other Indigenous communities, we’ve got sorry business and we have sorry business here now. We have to control that when we’ve got families coming in from outside.
“People hugging and kissing each other, how do we stop that? It’s going to be hard,” he said.
Currently, there are more than 140 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Queensland, with the numbers starting to rise by 50 a day, prompting calls for the state’s local government elections next weekend to be postponed.
Cherbourg is one of the state’s 77 councils which will open early voting booths next week, however, Mr Murray thinks it should be postponed to avoid large gatherings.
“What they [Electoral Commission of Queensland] should’ve done, they should’ve laid off of it for a while,” he said.
Additionally, the council has urged the following people not travel to Cherbourg:
Any person who has been diagnosed with or suspected to be infected with Coronavirus;
Any person who is feeling unwell or has had close contact with someone who is unwell, in the last 14 days;
Any person who has travelled overseas or has had close contact with someone who has travelled overseas, in the last 14 days
For more information about COVID-19 contact 13 HEALTH.