Businesses to suffer after beaches and carparks closed
THE Gold Coast's peak business group has warned retail outlets near the city's famed beaches will suffer from the closure of oceanside carparks.
All carparks between Main Beach and The Spit have been blocked off along with closure of the beach at Surfers Paradise, The Spit and Coolangatta.
The beaches were deserted yesterday morning just hours after the closure came into effect, with a handful of people in the water or on the sand.
But the Gold Coast Central Chamber of Commerce president Martin Hall said the move would have an added negative impact on many beachside businesses.
"There's no easy answer because people have been told to stay home and the way to do that is to close the carparks," Mr Hall said. "While it is frustrating, it's a temporary pain and it is for our survival.
"Let's hope after this weekend we can focus on surviving before things eventually start to re-open."
Mayor Tom Tate, who initially shut The Spit carpark at the weekend before then bringing in some beach closures and making beachfront parking bays off limits, yesterday said he was pleased with the first day of beach closures.
"The reports I've received is that the beach closures are working," he said. "The message from the authorities is to stay home and stay in your suburb or neighbourhood. If you have to get in the car to reach the beach, it will likely be a waste of your time as the carpark closures announced yesterday are now well underway.
"For those who are able to get to the beach - exercise and then head straight home."
Gold Coast surfers and beachgoers were in turn targeted south of the border yesterday by NSW police.
Tweed Byron Police District commander Superintendent Dave Roptell warned Queensland surfers if caught at a northern NSW beach, they would cop a fine.
Tweed Shire Council closed beachside carparks a day after Gold Coast, with 22 sites blocked off between Duranbah and Pottsville yesterday.
Tweed Mayor Katie Milne said rangers would patrol the Tweed to discourage people from breaking the rules at the Easter weekend.
Ms Milne said unauthorised cars entering a closed public carpark would be fined.
It came as southern Gold Coasters took social distancing matters into their own hands, in a bid to keep their own patch of sand open.
Signs at Palm Beach read: "Sorry but, if you don't live here don't surf here.
"Local 4221 residents or within a 5k radius only, until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Locals it if is crowded please spread out or stagger surf times to enforce social distancing. Let's do what needs to be done to keep our beach open."
Originally published as 'This is a temporary pain for our survival'