Feds tell Palaszczuk: Your job to save tourism

GOLD COAST businesses are demanding the state government puts forward a recovery plan after Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham warned there would be no bail-out from Canberra.

In a thinly veiled swipe at state leaders including Queensland's Annastacia Palaszczuk, Mr Birmingham said it would be up to the state governments to support businesses affected by strict border closures.

However Gold Coast Central Chamber of Commerce president Martin Hall said there was still no sign of a recovery plan from the Palaszczuk Government."The issue is obviously around the health of people in the community, but the health and future of businesses also needs to cared for," Mr Hall said.

"There needs to be plans from the state government around the border being shut, open or a hybrid situation.

"We haven't seen any plan from the state government.


Gold Coast Central Chamber of Commerce President Martin Hall. Picture: Richard Gosling.
Gold Coast Central Chamber of Commerce President Martin Hall. Picture: Richard Gosling.

"The net result is businesses are suffering and they are being fined and dealt financial punishments if they fall outside guidelines.

"We're happy to help and be a part of the conversation but currently that's not the case, it feels like the tail is wagging the dog.

"These decisions about the border are being rushed in and even police are scratching their heads about how'll they deal with a stricter closure."

Flight Centre boss Graham Turner also demanded the state government reveal its recovery strategy after his business today announced a $475m loss.

"It is critical that businesses across all sectors know these objectives and data lines for COVID-19 control and the lifting of restrictions - whether the end goal is community immunity, suppression, eradication or learning to live with this virus," he said.

Mr Birmingham told Nine newspapers state governments would have to wear the costs if they continued to impose border restrictions on citizens of states where COVID-19 was suppressed.

"State border restrictions need to be proportionate to the health risk and shouldn't remain in place for one more day than they need to," he said.

"If a state or territory border were to remain closed to a jurisdiction that had successfully suppressed the spread of COVID-19, then that state or territory government will need to be accountable to their tourism industry and will ultimately need to provide additional support."

Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham. Photo: Getty Images.
Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham. Photo: Getty Images.

Mr Hall said that federal politics isn't a major concern for him but lack of the co-operation from the Queensland Government with bodies like his own is worrying.

"From a chamber perspective federal politics is not our party to dance in but the federal government does have a role to play to help," he said.

"I think the main issue with the border closures is that politics is forming more and more of the decisions being made."


Originally published as Feds tell Palaszczuk: Your job to save tourism