Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is determined to wreck Queensland beyond hope of any recovery. Last count early this year before this current fiasco 90 billion in the hole and God only knows what it is going to end up as. Annastacia Palaszczuk has without help from anyone turned Victoria into a state where you are better off doing business. Tourism is one of their biggest income earners, really, what is it worth now? The story here speaks of the tourist industry already decimated. Yes keep voting for her and her bunch of goons.
Queensland’s tourism industry is lobbying hard for a reopening of the state’s borders as COVID-19 restrictions ease, but both the Premier and Chief Health Officer insist they must remain closed indefinitely.
- The Queensland tourism industry says the border closure is “disastrous”
- The Chief Health Officer says reopening could have terrible consequences
- The Premier says there is still community transmission interstate
Tourism body Destination Gold Coast has warned the city’s economy is “on the edge of collapse”.
But Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said there was only a slim chance the border could reopen in July, saying even a September reopening remained optimistic.
“If the tourism industry wants a realistic scenario, then they should be preparing for September,” Dr Young said.
“But I say to them, that if everything went perfectly and it was possible that maybe it could happen earlier, wouldn’t they also want to be prepared for that?
“Having said that, I can’t even commit that September would be possible — it depends what happens between now and then.”
Dr Young said Queensland could face “terrifying” consequences if the measures were relaxed too soon.
“When we saw that curve going up, it was just going straight up — it was no different to what was happening in New York, or Spain, or London or Sweden,” lei disse.
“We have only just lifted those restrictions — we are now going to have to see what happens.
“If there are cases out there that we haven’t picked up, now they will start to spread.”
Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory are maintaining similar restrictions or bans on interstate travel.
‘We’ve been decimated’
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today appeared frustrated when defending the ongoing border closures.
“We have a robust [tourism] industria, they are really hurting at the moment, I understand that, but I want to see Queenslanders supporting Queenslanders,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“purtroppo, New South Wales and Victoria have that community transmission and they have to get that under control before we allow visitors to come here.
“I’m sorry for that, I’m so sorry for that.
“You know what, when we get through this together, I’ll be the number one supporter going down there and urging people to come here.”
The Premier said the border restrictions would be reviewed at the end of every month.
But a Sunshine Coast accommodation provider said keeping borders closed until September would be disastrous for the region.
Landmark Resort and Spa general manager Brett Thompson said since mid-March he had lost more than 1,000 bookings, worth a total of $750,000.
“We’ve been decimated to be honest with you,” Mr Thompson said.
“This property ran at 80 per cent occupancy last year.
“Since COVID-19 started about the third week in March we’ve been running about 10 per cent.”
The volume of overseas visitors in Queensland for a short-term trip (less than one year) in March had fallen by 62.7 per cent compared to the same time last year, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Destination Gold Coast chief executive officer Annaliese Battista says the city’s economy is “teetering on the edge of collapse” and the tourism industry needs certainty.
“The Premier came out last Friday with a very clear road map to easing Queensland restrictions, and in fact a one-page guide too that’s been extensively published, and that the sector has taken as being the roadmap to recovery, that clearly states that the 10th of July is D-Day for interstate travel.”
“To hear less than a week later that there’s been a change of heart, or a potential change of heart, is confusing.
“I would urge the State Government not to put anybody’s health at risk, but to understand the serious nature of the economic crisis that is facing this state, particularly the tourism sector.”
Ms Battista said having a firm date had given the ailing sector optimism.
“There are 34,000 hotel rooms on the Gold Coast with 4 per cent occupancy at the moment, it’s heartbreaking,” lei disse.
“You would expect at this time of year about 84 per cent occupancy.
“So we really are talking dire straits for the tourism sector at the moment, and all of the sectors that depend on it.”
The Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame in Longreach normally welcomed about 60,000 visitors from April to September, but this year it expected none.
Hall of Fame chief executive Lloyd Mills said it was incredibly disappointing.
“Winter in the outback, winter in north Queensland, they’re our critical months of trade,” Mr Mills said.
“Without them to remain open over the summer period … is going to be an enormous challenge.”