NSW Border.
NSW Border.

Industry left reeling after Premier leaves borders closed


GOLD Coast business and tourism leaders say new limitless travel within Queensland but not from outside the state will have limited economic impact.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said yesterday state borders would stay shut until at least the end of next month.

Coolangatta's Cafe DBar owner Steve Archdeacon said: "This is not the State of Origin. This is a crisis in Australia."

Since the pandemic started his business has been reduced by 70 per cent and he said he needed tourists from southern states.

"There is no one in the high rises in Coolangatta - we really need the people back," he said.

Mr Archdeacon said interstate tourists tended to stay weeks but Queenslanders tended to stay no more than seven days, meaning a big difference in spending.

Cafe DBar owner Steve Archdeacon. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Cafe DBar owner Steve Archdeacon. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

Last week the Bulletin revealed the Gold Coast was losing $310 million a month in tourism with the borders shut.

Ms Palaszczuk said she would not review the border block until the end of June.

"We will be opening up Queensland for Queenslanders," she said. "It's almost like a Queensland bubble for this month of June.

"We are opening up Queensland in a responsible manner and we can do that because we have had such a terrific health response in Queensland."

Destination Gold Coast CEO Annaliese Battista said allowing travel within Queensland would mean little for the city's tourism operators.

"Most of the intrastate travel that the Gold Coast receives is the drive market so within that 150km people have been able to travel," she said.

Ms Battista said it was really a border reopening which would give a much needed jumpstart to city tourism.

"Our sector is experiencing not only the financial loss of an estimated $310 million per month, but a substantial blow to morale and confidence.

"We are experiencing travellers' lost confidence through cancelled bookings, or a reluctance to book accommodation and attractions on the Gold Coast, right through to the end of 2020 in some cases.

The border will remain closed for at least another month. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
The border will remain closed for at least another month. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

"An expansion to intrastate travel will provide only minor relief to our struggling tourism sector. While any easing of travel and social distancing restrictions are a welcome step on the road to recovery, the safe opening up of borders remains the top priority for the Gold Coast's tourism sector."

Mudgeeraba MP Ros Bates said having to wait another month to find out when borders would reopen was not feasible.

"It doesn't give anyone any certainty," she said. "The only blockage to business is Annastacia Palaszczuk."

Originally published as Cafe boss: 'It's not State of Origin'