Borders closure takes heavy toll on CQ tourist operation
LAST WEEK’S announcement of a border closure again will see limited southern tourists in Central Queensland.
As more coronavirus cases have peaked in Victoria, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the Queensland borders would be closed to New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory residents from 1am last Saturday.
While it affects his business greatly, John Garland of Stanage Bay Fishing Accommodation welcomed the news of the closure.
The accommodation business was forced to close in mid-March and reopened on May 31, following the easing of Queensland Government restrictions.
Easter was unusual as the business was closed at what would normally be its busiest time of the year.
“It was the quietest we’ve ever seen in Stanage … we were fully booked for April and May,” Mr Garland said.
In the two months Mr Garland has been able to open his business, he said he had received great support.
He said he had a lot of regulars come through and it was good to see them return.
He also saw a lot of new guests as travel opened inside the state and Queenslanders were able to travel within Queensland.
Some guests had come from Bundaberg and were doing the circuit.
“We had a lot more campers coming to have a look, who may have travelled down south previously,” he said.
“It’s really great to see people staying in Queensland.”
Mr Garland said he had some exciting guests come to Stanage Bay in that time including Jase and Simon from the All 4 Adventure television show.
“We had been talking to them for a couple of months beforehand,” Mr Garland said.
“It was wonderful to see them come in and support the community.
“They were an absolute pleasure.”
John said he is in “total agreement” with the borders closure.
“It’s just unfortunate for those who want to come from New South Wales,” he said.
“The last thing we want to have is COVID-19 back in Queensland.
“People lives are much more important than money
“I hope for it to clear up as soon as it can
“If everyone works together we can close this down quicker.”
“I don’t think we will even know life as we knew it before, it’s going to be different for a long time.”
While he has had some cancellations, John didn’t hesitate in saying the business will keep operating.
“We like to think Queensland will support Queenslanders,” he said.
“Fishermens are still going to come to Stanage.”
Stanage Bay is quite well known for its fishing and Mr Garland said there had been some really good catches lately.
Mr Garland and his wife Karen also bought the bait and tackle shop in December and had to close it in March.
Last weekend was fully booked out as Gladstone had a public holiday today and many people came up for a long weekend.
STANAGE BAY FISHING ACCOMMODATION
4 Smith St, Stanage
Phone 0427 664 000