Busi­nesses ‘ham­strung’ as tourists flood back to the re­gion

Stanthorpe Border Post - - NEWS -



RESTAU­RANTS and cafes are be­ing se­verely ham­strung by re­stric­tions still im­posed.

There was a fa­mil­iar sight on the Gran­ite Belt over the week­end – tourists.

The main street was jam packed, cafes were flat out, no va­cancy signs were ev­ery­where and Gir­raween Na­tional Park was bed­lam.

But, with the lim­its on cus­tomers, restau­rants and cafes re­port­edly had to turn away peo­ple and money from their es­tab­lish­ments in droves.

Stan­thorpe and Gran­ite Belt Cham­ber of Com­merce pres­i­dent Gra­ham Parker said “draconian” laws were crush­ing busi­nesses.

“We have a lot to of­fer here. It’s cold and the talk of po­ten­tial snow isn’t hurt­ing,” Mr Parker said.

“The re­ports I’m get­ting from ac­com­mo­da­tion providers is many are just booked out … even mid­week.

“But the big­gest thing I’d like to push is that food providers, cafes and restau­rants, are be­ing de­stroyed at the mo­ment.

“We have a huge in­flux of peo­ple and these re­stric­tions on num­bers make it not vi­able for many.

“It’s caus­ing a lot of angst. Op­er­a­tors are hav­ing to turn peo­ple away and they’re get­ting cranky.

“The point we need to make to the gov­ern­ment is that they need to re­view it,” Mr Parker said.

The cham­ber pres­i­dent is an­noyed that 30,000 in­di­vid­u­als can at­tend a protest, there be no COVID-19 spikes, but re­stric­tions aren’t eas­ing where it mat­ters most for busi­nesses.

“It’s a huge is­sue. We are much more aware of per­sonal clean­li­ness and so­cial dis­tanc­ing.

“It’s time for them to ease re­stric­tions sooner rather than later.

“We are fully booked out in the area and we ap­pear to be let­ting peo­ple down and at no fault of the food providers.

“At the mo­ment the tourism brand is be­ing dam­aged be­cause of it.

“Peo­ple are com­ing out and not hav­ing the full Gran­ite Belt vis­i­ta­tion ex­pe­ri­ence.

“In the city I get it. Out here, not so much.

“These draconian rules are hurt­ing us.”

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