Decision to keep borders closed could cost Coast $188m
AS MUCH as $188 million could be ripped out of the Fraser Coast's struggling economy because of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's decision not to reopen the borders because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is the dire warning from Opposition leader Deb Frecklington, who said that figure is the annual value of interstate domestic tourism to the region.
Ms Frecklington said around 188,000 interstate visitors travel to the Fraser Coast in a typical year, supporting thousands of jobs in the local economy.
"Annastacia Palaszczuk's border shambles is closing businesses and costing jobs in the Fraser Coast," she said.
"Local businesses still have no certainty and no clarity on whether Annastacia Palaszczuk will keep the interstate border closed until September.
"Fraser Coast jobs rely on southerners coming into the community and spending money. It doesn't make sense that people in the Tweed can travel to Melbourne but can't go Hervey Bay.
"The Queensland border should re-open in July as Labor said it would.
"The Premier is failing to show leadership while Fraser Coast businesses are closing down and cutting jobs."
A spokesman from the Premier's office said she had been clear that she was taking expert medical advice from the chief health officer.
"The last person she will take health advice from is the Leader of the Opposition," the spokesman said.
"The Premier understands the impact restrictions are having which is why, based on health advice, we've been able to increase the number of people allowed in restaurants, cafes and pubs and open up Queensland to Queenslanders."
Daniel Gchwind, chief executive of the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, said the weekend's decision to allow travel throughout the state was the injection of optimism Queensland needed.
"We can now move ahead, businesses can have confidence that they can take the bookings, they can welcome visitors and our industry, the marine operators, the accommodation providers, the services, the hospitality sector, we will do everything that can be done to keep people safe."