The Gold Coast Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - BRI­ANNA MOR­RIS-GRANT bri­anna.mor­ris-grant@news.com.au

GC joy as Premier eases re­stric­tions a week early – but locks out the Vics

GOLD Coast air­port and tourism bosses say the locked-in July 10 bor­der open­ing and fast-tracked busi­ness re­lax­ations will have an im­me­di­ate eco­nomic im­pact but warn it is just the start of the re­cov­ery. Premier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk, un­der pres­sure to free up the city’s crip­pled econ­omy, yes­ter­day set a July 10 Queens­land bor­der open­ing, ex­clud­ing Vic­to­ri­ans where coro­n­avirus out­breaks are oc­cur­ring. She pleas­antly sur­prised op­er­a­tors by bring­ing for­ward Stage 3 re­lax­ations a week early – al­low­ing bar ser­vice, higher pa­tron lim­its plus free­ing up club sport, wed­dings, casino and pub gam­ing from Fri­day. Queens­land Air­ports CEO Chris Mills tipped 40 per cent of Coast air­line traf­fic – slashed by 99 per cent – to re­turn by Au­gust: “But this isn’t the end of it, this just gets us to the start­ing line in terms of re­cov­ery.”

BLACK Hops Brew­ery is cel­e­brat­ing a re­turn to nor­malcy as the Gold Coast pre­pares for more re­laxed COVID-19 re­stric­tions ear­lier than planned.

From Fri­day, thanks to Premier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk bring­ing for­ward some stage 3 eas­ing, the Burleigh Heads brew­ery can have 30 pa­trons in­side, dou­ble its pre­vi­ous limit.

The Premier has also green­lighted small busi­nesses of less than 100sq m be­ing al­lowed one pa­tron per 2sq m in­stead of the ex­ist­ing 4sq m rule.

For Black Hops, which opened a Big­gera Wa­ters lo­ca­tion last year, it means it’s al­most back to pre-COVID ca­pac­ity, ac­cord­ing to Burleigh tap room man­ager Cayle Lu­tas. “We have such a strong reg­u­lar base, and with 15 peo­ple as the max it was re­ally dis­heart­en­ing to have to turn peo­ple away,” he said.

“Since we re­opened, we’ve been pretty much at ca­pac­ity for 80-90 per cent of the day, every day we do trade.”

Pa­trons will also be al­lowed to or­der drinks and food from the bar again. Mr Lu­tas said while it was a wel­come boost to have over-the-bar ser­vice again, Black Hops plans to con­tinue ta­ble ser­vice.

“But a lot of our pa­trons are barflies — they’re the peo­ple you want stand­ing at the bar hav­ing a chat be­fore they’re on their way. It does make things more ef­fi­cient,” he said.


Bar­tender and man­ager Cayle Lu­tas from Black Hops Brew­ing Burleigh wel­comes the news.


Cayle Lu­tas from Black Hops Brew­ery.

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