How QLD’s border lockdown will help NSW
Queensland's bizarre six-month border lockdown plan will boost NSW tourism operators as billions of dollars normally poured into the Sunshine state is redirected locally.
NSW residents spend about $4 billion a year holidaying in Queensland, but if the northern border remains shut until September as planned, that cash will flow to bushfire ravaged coastal areas, Byron Bay, the Blue Mountains and other tourism hot spots.
The Daily Telegraph can reveal analysis by Tourism Research Australia found about 2.2 million people from NSW usually travel over the border to Queensland in a six-month period, but the extended ban would force holiday-makers to spend locally instead.
Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham has slammed Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk for her nonsensical decision to keep the state isolated for months to come, despite there being no national health advice this is needed.
"I think the Queensland Premier's suggestion that border restrictions be in place until September is one that will cause real economic harm to their tourism industry," he said.
"If the success of suppressing the spread of COVID-19 is maintained over the coming weeks, then there is no reason why those border controls should still need to be there in September."
The average NSW holiday-maker spends $969 in Queensland per trip, which if redirected within the state would support thousands of jobs as one in 13 people in Australia are employed in the sector.
SEALED-OFF STATE BORDERING ON CRAZY FOR WORKERS
Before the pandemic the bugbear on the NSW-Queensland border was daylight saving.
But Queensland's decision to close its borders has created a new issue for those who live either side of the line.
The border was only closed one way, with police patrolling the main highway routes to the north, so Queenslanders could come across into NSW, but they needed to apply for a pass to get back home.
Anyone with a NSW number plate working in Queensland also needed to apply for a pass to cross.
Bridee McCoy is a barista at Osteria restaurant in Casuarina, just a few kilometres south of the Queensland border. The 21-year-old lives in Burleigh Heads and she needs a cross border pass to come and go.
"In the beginning it was really confusing and getting back home took an hour lining up at the border check. I needed to get a pass on my windscreen to get back over the border every day. They wave you through if you have Queensland number plates and the pass on your windscreen, so it's not too difficult now," she said.
Laura Minogue, a hairdresser who also works in Casuarina, near Kingscliff, lives at Reedy Creek on the Gold Coast.
"Initially it wasn't an issue, I had the pass and it would slow you down 10 minutes going home, but now that things are getting back with more cars on the road, it now takes 30 minutes to get through the checkpoint, so it takes an hour to get home now, as opposed to 25-30 minutes," the 33-year-old mother of two said.
She said the pass seemed pointless, given that it was so easy to get online. "No-one is being checked and anyone can get one, you don't need proof, just put your address in and print it out," Ms Minogue said.