COME FEEL OUR PAIN

FU­RI­OUS BUSINESS LEAD­ERS SEND S.O.S

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - AMBER MACPHERSON, EMILY TOXWARD & DOMANII CAMERON

Palaszczuk ‘ar­ro­gant to what’s go­ing on’ as frus­tra­tions boil over on bor­der lock­down

IRATE business lead­ers have im­plored An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk to visit the Gold Coast to see first­hand the fi­nan­cial and emo­tional car­nage caused by her re­fusal to re­open the NSW bor­der.

One cham­ber of com­merce boss said the Queens­land Premier had be­come “ar­ro­gant to what’s go­ing on on the ground” as busi­nesses were put to the wall and peo­ple lost their jobs. An­other leader said op­er­a­tors could “only hold their breath for so long”, as Queens­land yes­ter­day recorded no new cases.

IRATE business lead­ers have im­plored An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk to visit the Gold Coast to see first­hand the fi­nan­cial and emo­tional car­nage caused by her re­fusal to re­open the NSW bor­der.

One cham­ber of com­merce boss said the Queens­land Premier had be­come “ar­ro­gant to what’s go­ing on on the ground” as busi­nesses were put to the wall and peo­ple lost their jobs.

An­other leader said op­er­a­tors could “only hold their breath for so long”, while a Gold Coast MP told Ms Palaszczuk to stop be­ing a “war­rior in Wil­liam St and a cow­ard in Cav­ill Ave” and look the own­ers of down­trod­den Glit­ter Strip busi­nesses in the eye.

The Premier’s of­fice was un­able to an­swer Bul­letin ques­tions yes­ter­day. How­ever, it said Ms Palaszczuk would visit the Coast “very soon”.

The Premier this week said she was con­cerned that NSW had 33 times Queens­land’s cases and a high de­gree of com­mu­nity trans­fer. Nine­teen peo­ple had died in one NSW nurs­ing home alone and a school had shut be­cause of an out­break.

She has said the health of Queens­lan­ders was her first pri­or­ity.

Queens­land recorded no new cases yes­ter­day, leav­ing the over­all num­ber at 1058.

Frus­trated business lead­ers said the de­ci­sion to keep up the closed sign – given the low num­ber of new cases – was hav­ing an enor­mous toll on the city’s $6 bil­lion tourism mecca and small business sec­tor.

“If the Queens­land Premier thinks this virus is go­ing to go away over the next 12 months, and un­til there’s no virus we’re not go­ing to open the bor­ders, is ab­so­lutely ridicu­lous,” Tweed Cham­ber of Com­merce pres­i­dent War­ren Pol­glase said.

“We know that will never hap­pen. The op­er­a­tors have been pe­nalised by the Premier in Queens­land who is ar­ro­gant to what’s go­ing on on the ground.

“The med­i­cal ad­vice that’s been given in New South

Wales is yes you can travel; other med­i­cal ad­vice from the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment is no you can’t – who do you be­lieve?”

Greater South­ern Gold Coast Cham­ber of Com­merce pres­i­dent Hilary Ja­cobs said “peo­ple are get­ting frus­trated” and the Premier should take a trip down the M1 to see the pain for her­self.

“It’s more than just about be­ing able to walk from one side of the street to the other,” she said. “Nor­mally from the June long week­end to Oc­to­ber long week­end, we have a very large num­ber of peo­ple who come up ev­ery year and em­bed them­selves in our com­mu­nity. They are part of our com­mu­nity for three or four months of the year.

“Those are the peo­ple who we des­per­ately need to help us sur­vive through this.

“A lot of these busi­nesses, the ho­tels, there’s no­body there. With­out the tourism be­ing al­lowed, they’re go­ing to stay that way. These guys are hold­ing their breath at the mo­ment but you can only hold your breath so long.”

Gold Coast Cen­tral Cham­ber of Com­merce pres­i­dent Martin Hall said he “would fully sup­port” invit­ing the Premier to the Gold Coast. The cham­ber said it was “draft­ing a let­ter to the Premier”.

Broadwater MP David Crisafulli told Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day he would “like the Premier to come to the Gold Coast and tell those op­er­a­tors why she has pulled the rug out from their liveli­hood.

“... Look those op­er­a­tors in the eye and give them justificat­ion, don’t be a war­rior in Wil­liam St and a cow­ard in Cav­ill Ave.”

Mr Crisafulli also ques­tioned the bor­der clo­sure change from a planned July open­ing to Septem­ber.

“In the space of 10 days we have seen a road map that was de­liv­ered on May 8, which had a July bor­der re­open­ing date, be­come Septem­ber, 10 days later, be­cause of one com­ment on tele­vi­sion from the Premier.

“What med­i­cal ad­vice changed in that 10 days, was there a spike in Queens­land? No. Was there a spike in­ter­state? No. There is ab­so­lutely noth­ing that has changed in those 10 days other than a com­ment on tele­vi­sion.

LOOK THOSE OP­ER­A­TORS IN THE EYE AND GIVE THEM JUSTIFICAT­ION

BROADWATER MP DAVID CRISAFULLI

“Stick to the plan.” Des­ti­na­tion Gold Coast chief ex­ec­u­tive An­naliese Bat­tista “en­cour­aged the Premier to visit the Gold Coast and speak with af­fected tourism and hos­pi­tal­ity op­er­a­tors”.

“Des­ti­na­tion Gold Coast es­ti­mates that the eco­nomic im­pact to tourism will range any­where from $3.3 bil­lion to $4.3 bil­lion in 2020 de­pend­ing on var­i­ous fac­tors in­clud­ing the du­ra­tion and the ex­tent of travel re­stric­tion mea­sures.”

How­ever, she said that would be mag­ni­fied if the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment de­ferred the re­open­ing of the bor­der to Septem­ber and not July 10 as ear­marked as part of stage 3 re­stric­tions.

“Peak pe­ri­ods are un­doubt­edly school hol­i­days and we es­ti­mate the two months’ ad­di­tional bor­der clo­sures, in­clud­ing over the July school hol­i­days, will mean a $500 mil­lion loss to Gold Coast’s tourism sec­tor,” she said.

NSW Premier Gla­dys Bere­jik­lian said the de­ci­sion de­fied “logic”.

Ms Palaszczuk fired back, say­ing: “We are not go­ing to be lec­tured by a state that has the high­est num­ber of cases in Aus­tralia”.

Queens­land’s Chief Med­i­cal Of­fi­cer Dr Jean­nette Young in­sisted it was best for Queens­land to keep the bor­der shut for the time be­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.