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Daily News

Coast operators fume following border lockout news

GOLD Coast operators are fuming following Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's decision to keep the borders closed to greater Sydney.

Tourism and business leaders unleashed on Friday 30 October after the hotly anticipated state border announcement, which revealed one of Queensland's biggest tourism markets - worth about $20 million a day to the state's economy - was officially locked out.

Coolangatta's Komune Resort and Beach Club owner Tony Cannon took to Facebook to vent his frustrations, saying the decision on Friday November 30 instantly killed Christmas and New Year hotel trade.

Komune Owner / Manager Tony Cannon. Photo Scott Powick Newscorp
Komune Owner / Manager Tony Cannon. Photo Scott Powick Newscorp

"In good non-COVID times most tourism businesses make 30-50% or more of their annual profit in December and January," he said.

"That Christmas trade gets them through the rest of the year where many months you just break even.

"Yesterday, we had mass cancellations of Christmas bookings from Sydney and even other states due to the lack of certainty in Queensland from guests who made Christmas plans based on Annastacia's promise to reopen on first November.

"The decision of Annastacia yesterday just wrote off any chance most tourism businesses had of making it through next year.

"Next year, there's no more gravy train of JobKeeper to keep business alive. Why? Because there was one single community transmission in NSW for the last two weeks out of a population of 8 million people!

"This is getting absolutely ridiculous where one persons re-election and popularity poll data is killing millions of livelihood and jobs and costing billions of dollars.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. (AAP Image/Darren England) NO ARCHIVING
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. (AAP Image/Darren England) NO ARCHIVING

"I have been 100% supportive and committed to the efforts of all the governments so far in controlling this virus.

We have made huge changes to our business to adapt it to a COVIDSafe environment as many others have.

"Our support was conditional on getting back to work and opening borders as soon as our health system clearly had this thing under control.

"NSW and QLD have, for four months straight, demonstrated they can keep a lid on the virus and keep business open with their systems.

"Gold Coast (and Australia) is headed for a bloodbath next year when JobKeeper ends in March and banks start taking business off life support and making them pay interest or sell up.

"The medical, health and government systems have had 8 months to work out how to control the spread and business has 100% supported this effort with their COVID safe operating plans.

We must learn to adapt to life with this virus and have systems to control it.

"The community have all come together to support the health system and have done an amazing job Australia wide.

"They will continue to, provided logic prevails in decision making otherwise it will degenerate into a compete sh** show like Europe and America when people get desperate and have no money.

Tony Cannon, owner of Komune Resort at Coolangatta, is offering his accommodation to health care professionals as a safe place to stay . Picture Glenn Hampson
Tony Cannon, owner of Komune Resort at Coolangatta, is offering his accommodation to health care professionals as a safe place to stay . Picture Glenn Hampson

"Based on Annastacia stated COVID rules we will NEVER reopen to Sydney and Melbourne until a vaccine (which no one will probably take) and therefore millions of jobs will be lost next year in the tourism, hospitality and airline industry.

"We must learn to live and manage COVID in Queensland while allowing all business to open in a COVID safe way like has been done in NSW.

"Also, since when did we stop being Australians and start identifying only as Queenslanders?

"State Premiers should be caring for all of Australia's welfare first and foremost, not propagating division with this "I'm Keeping Queenslander Safe" slogan while Australia as a whole suffers. We are one country.

"Sorry for rant but so many people have no idea what is coming next year if this border situation isn't sorted immediately (e.g. today) and Queensland man up and build a system to manage and suppress the risks."

This is on the back of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate pleading with Prime Minister Scott Morrison not to axe JobKeeper or other stimulus from March 30 but keep it until June 30, buying more time for struggling ­businesses to get back on their feet.

 

rosemary.ball@news.com.au

 

 

 

Originally published as Coast operators fume following border lockout news



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