BUSY BEES: The Killarney Hotel has been busy ever since diners returned in May.
BUSY BEES: The Killarney Hotel has been busy ever since diners returned in May.

Killarney the ‘luckiest’ outlier in border closures

AS BORDER towns across the state already report losses from a second imminent closure, one small Southern Downs town is bucking the trend as it prepares to fight the second wave together.

A pathway for many rural residents into NSW, Killarney Sergeant Brad Doyle was looking at the “calm before the storm”as Queenslanders rushed home before an August 8 lockout.

“We have started to see a bit of an increase in the volume of traffic, leading up to the closure, and we only expect that to increase around 1pm on Saturday as people try to get through before they have to quarantine,” he said.

Even business seemed to be busier than ever, ahead of a lockout, according to Killarney Hotel manager Amelia Johnston-Moir.

For the past five months, the family-owned pub had been home to the ADF personnel responsible for manning the crossings.

“They’re definitely what got us through being closed,” Ms Johnston-Moir said.
“We’ve been the luckiest place in the world with this whole thing going on. They’re expected to stay until the end of September and it will be probably extended as well.”

In fact, according to her, business seemed to slow with borders open.

“The last two weekends weren’t as busy which could be for a numbers of reasons but I think people feel safer when it’s just Queensland.

The idyllic location is taking no chances this time round.
The idyllic location is taking no chances this time round.

Struck by one of the Southern Downs’ only coronavirus cases in the initial stages of the pandemic, and home to a growing elderly population, Killarney residents always knew they had to be vigilant in ongoing pandemic concerns.

At Killarney Memorial Aged Care, visits to patients closed a week ago in a preventive measure to protect the residents’ wellbeing, according to chairwoman Lyndall McCormack.

“We believe that anything done in the short term will help everyone later on,” she said.

“Everybody has to take on the responsibility, I know it’s hard because we live in a border town but our staff and tradesman have been very cautious and careful. The police and army are very cooperative and diligent. As long as everybody works together, we will be fine.’

Mrs McCormack was also stoked to report that families had been even more receptive this time round.

“We are so delighted that the crisis does not seem to be growing in Queensland and the response is just fantastic,” she said.

“I think this time they realise its importance because of what’s happening in Victoria’s aged care.”



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