‘The whole season will be wiped out’
THE owner of a tourist park has called for borders to be reopened in time for school holidays, saying the whole season could be "wiped out" if they remain closed.
Owner of Conway Beach Tourist Park Peter Miller is among those who rely heavily on tourists from other states who make up 85 per cent of the park's visitors in winter.
Mr Miller said the region could suffer if borders remained closed until September.
"The biggest concern is there are very limited cases in Queensland and a lot of our guests over the winter are from interstate," he said.
"If we don't get those borders open, we miss out on the season. The whole season will be wiped out."
Mr Miller said when the park reopens on June 13 in line with the State Government's road map to easing restrictions, he will have lost 82 days of business.
He pushed for borders to be reopened in time for school holidays in line with New South Wales.
While Mr Miller said allowing travel in northern parts of the state would help "a little bit", he pushed for similar restrictions as neighbouring states.
"I could understand if there was a lot of cases out there, but there's not," he said.
"From June 1 (we should) open up unlimited travel in Queensland and mid-June open up the borders."
Owner of Gunna Go Caravan Park in Proserpine Joy Sorensen said she had also felt the impact of coronavirus on her business although she was in favour of a slower reopening if it meant ensuring the safety of the community.
Ms Sorenson said the visitors to Gunna Go Caravan Park were primarily those who fell into the vulnerable age bracket.
"Our business is mainly grey nomads, so we are suffering but at same time we're concerned for their health and wellbeing as well," she said.
"The people we do have at the park are over 60 so they're high risk and we have to be careful.
"We're apprehensive about letting (travellers) come from interstate. We'd be happy (if) Queensland opened and allowed intrastate travel."
Member for Dawson George Christensen echoed Ms Sorensen's "safety first" message but said the September date flagged by the Premier was too late.
"What we can do right now is open all of North Queensland back up to travel from the Mackay region right up to the far north so our tourism industry can get pumping again and create local jobs," he said.
"State borders should be reopened and unrestricted domestic travel restarted when the statistics and health authorities show it's OK. That may not be right now but it's certainly not September as the Premier has suggested.
"There needs to be some clarity about the situation as tourism businesses in the Whitsundays were under the belief that the state borders were reopening fully in July and they're working towards that outcome."