“Qld Borders” was Tronson du Coudray’s art work this week for the Tweed Heads Chamber of Commerce monthly breakfast ‘business card draw’.
Dr Mark Tronson uses his historical name as an artist and each month does an art expression for the ‘business card draw’ at the Tweed Heads Chamber of Commerce ‘breakfast’.
This month, February, his art work was on the theme of Queensland border closures which to Tweed Heads NSW / Coolangatta Qld - affects business, medical, retail, charities, churches and community. Tweed Shire GM Troy Green spoke to the painting and deputy mayor Warren Polglase spoke of business hardship across the Shire with Qld borders closing (3 times now).
The Wharf Street main thruway from Tweeds Heads shopping complexes into Coolangatta’s tourism street fare can be lined up back to the Canal bridge – 5 kilometres – and the Pacific Gold Coast Highway - wait for it – worse case scenario 20 ks – some 3 hours.
The Qld border was slammed shut for the third time on 21 December through to 1 February – 6 weeks – the inter-state summer domestic tourism into Queensland was cut to shreds - Mackay, Whitsundays, Bowen, Ayr, Townsville, Cairns and Islands, Port Douglas, Cape York, Mt Isa, Atherton Tablelands ….
The 3rd Qld closure was over one case of Covid 19 in Sydney. The Tweed Heads NSW community on the border with Coolangatta Qld bore the brunt of this hard border closures.
This painting “Qld Borders” illustrates the hallmarks of political analysis. I speak as a Queensland home owner as Tweed Heads NSW is the national office of Well-Being Australia (a national wide charity) – we travel betwixt. Peter Costello the former Federal Treasurer said - if the Charity sector shut down Australia would be broke within a week.
One role, as chairman of Well-Being Australia, is to travel interstate to visit our magnificent volunteer teams, this has not occurred since March 2020. We planned flights to Melbourne and Sydney, cancelled due to shut downs. To illustrate this, Gold Coast to Melbourne to have several meetings over 2 days – it was not feasible for a mandatory 14 day lock down arriving in Victoria. Returning to the Gold Coast, then another 14 day lock down. How can anything function like this?
On the second Qld shut down and border closures, I received a defining letter from the Qld Government that as Chairman of Well-Being Australia – if I travelled into Tweed Heads to the national office (200 metres inside the NSW border) - I would then need to continue to Sydney and return to the Gold Coast or Brisbane airport and 14 days quarantine. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry! I’m a bit sensible having served 17 years as the Australian cricket team chaplain.
Reports now are that interstate domestic holiday makers fear booking flights into Queensland as the Qld border could be slammed shut at any moment. Tweed Heads (NSW) and Coolangatta (Qld) – literally, each side of the street are in different States.
This art work ‘Qld Borders’ reveals many social and pastoral stories - such as unable to - attend family funerals - visit terminally ill loved ones, and similar pastoral consequences. Why – over one case of Covid 19 in Sydney. Heartache does not come near it. We in Queensland have 4 more years of this. Qld domestic tourism is shot to pieces. Charities have to find new scenarios.
Who gives a toss?
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 25 books, and enjoys writing. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded ‘The Gutenberg’ - the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award. In September 2020 Summer Moore presented her commission portrait of Dr Mark Tronson holding the Gutenberg plaque. He and David Chang editor of Christian Today together bought the young writer ministry into fruition in 2009. In 2011 Mark established Laguna Quays Respite (Whitsundays) for missionary respite and replicated at Aldinga Beach 2016 (Adelaide) and Greens Beach Bass Straight (TAS). His ministry is honoured all these years by Christian philanthropist Mr Basil Sellers AM. He is married to Delma (44 years), with four adult married children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/dr-mark-t.html