By Enterprise North
Enterprise North Executive Officer and former Cairns Mayor, Kevin Byrne has accused the Queensland Government of reckless indifference to, and a demonstrable misunderstanding of the state of the economies of North Queensland by planning on closing the State borders until September 2020 and describes the plan as ‘shameless’.
“Frankly we are being thrown to the wolves. The Queensland Government needs to focus its attention to opening a shuttered economy immediately to save what it can of a struggling tourism industry and the best first step is to open the borders. The consistently contradictory messaging on border closures has shattered confidence in many of our communities and is contrary to the national health advice and is more now about the heath politics, and a ‘one in all in’ approach of a government with no economic exit plan, rather than a rational assessment of risk,” Mr Byrnes said.
He said the initial worse case heath predictions was for 35,000 deaths across the State, but instead we find a total case load of 1057 with 6 lives lost and no evidence of any community transmission. Despite this, the Government’s response continues to be driven by a daily diet of dire heath messaging which is quickly being discredited as the Government pursues its impossible strategy of eliminating the virus in the absence of a vaccine.
“The priorities have now changed and the immediate focus should be to attracting visitors north from the southern winter whilst international borders remain locked down for the rest of the year. Traders and small businesses rely on this time of the year to get them through but instead the door has been shut in their face unnecessarily.
“It is quite obvious that the State has no serious strategy to get our tourism industry ticking over again. Intra-state travellers will not do it, the current 10 people per venue restrictions will not do it and the current distance travel limit will not do it. We need some hard-headed interventions by a serious government that respects the health advice at the same time as expediting a plan to save what is left of shattered economies across the State. The current situation is not only destructive and impractical, but flies in the face of national heath advice.
“Last night we saw the unedifying spectacle of our State Premier suggesting that NSW Premier Berejiklian might have been motivated by her desire to holiday in Far North Queensland in her call for Queensland to open the borders.”
Mr Byrne said it is time to call this indifference for what it is, which is now nothing more than a political ‘game of thrones’ placing the economic wellbeing of already shattered economies at grave risk of surviving beyond the next three months.
If you would like to sign Enterprise North’s Petition click here.
“QUEENSLAND PREMIER: OPEN QUEENSLAND BORDERS BY 15 JUNE 2020”