Tourism desperate for green light as Premier holds firm
TOURISM operators face missing out on the lucrative annual winter migration north from Victoria and New South Wales as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk holds firm on her border closure.
Landmark Mooloolaba general manager Brett Thompson has described the situation as "bloody disastrous".
In 2019 the resort had an occupancy rate of 87 per cent in July, 91 per cent in August and 88 per cent in September.
2020 forward bookings across the three months now wallow at 14 per cent.
"These are the busiest months of the year for interstate visitors," he said.
"They're the cream on the top.
"It's when the market is at its peak."
Mr Thompson sits on the Mooloolaba Beach Accommodation Unit committee, the Mooloolaba Chamber of Commerce and the Visit Sunshine Coast subregional committee.
He's also a member of the Australian Accommodation Association, the peak body for 286 properties with 30,000 rooms.
Its research has shown 96 per cent of member properties were experiencing negative cashflow.
Mr Thompson said every business he knew was gearing up for a reopening date.
He said JobKeeper stimulus was keeping some staff employed in preparation for a surge.
He said the industry wanted clarity and certainty from the government.
"The Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast are two key locations that can bounce back quickly given their location in relation to Brisbane," Mr Thompson said.
"Give those two locations the certainty they are crying out for.
"Unless the borders open, we're dead."
A meeting of State Cabinet, Chief Medical Officer Jeanette Young and the Queensland Disaster Management Committee will determine by next Monday what Stage Two COVID-19 pandemic restrictions will look like.
"Let me make it very clear and this is for everyone, in New South Wales, they have 370 cases of community transmission - 180 in Victoria," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"In New South Wales, there are 362 active cases as we speak, in Victoria 64 active cases as we speak.
"In Queensland we have 12.
"I want to see Queensland get back to work as quickly as possible.
"I want to see our tourism sector supported as quickly as possible."
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Mooloolaba Chamber of Commerce president Graeme Juniper said the town's businesses that relied heavily on tourism were doing it very hard financially.
He called for a clearer explanation as to why shopping centres were open for business while uneconomic restrictions were in place for restaurants, cafes and accommodation.
The Premier was on the Gold Coast on Tuesday with Tourism Minister Kate Jones to speak with industry representatives and Mayor Tom Tate.
"I know that people want to get up and running as quickly as possible, but we need to do it in a safe and measured way," she said.