‘Tail is wagging the dog’ as politics put ahead of businesses over border controls

Gold Coast businesses are pushing for the state government to come up with a recovery plan after Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham’s warning yesterday that the states and territories will have to foot the tourism bill if they keep borders closed any longer than necessary.

Gold Coast Central Chamber of Commerce president Martin Hall said the Palaszczuk Government had yet to put forward a recovery plan for the crippled sector.

“There needs to be plans from the state government around the border being shut, open or a hybrid situation,” Hall told The Gold Coast Bulletin.

“The net result is businesses are suffering and they are being fined and dealt financial punishments if they fall outside guidelines.

“We’re happy to help and be a part of the conversation but currently that’s not the case, it feels like the tail is wagging the dog.

“These decisions about the border are being rushed in and even police are scratching their heads about how’ll they deal with a stricter closure.

“I think the main issue with the border closures is that politics is forming more and more of the decisions being made.”

Birmingham said state border restrictions “shouldn’t remain in place for one more day than they need to”.

“If a state or territory border were to remain closed to a jurisdiction that had successfully suppressed the spread of COVID-19, then that state or territory government will need to be accountable to their tourism industry and will ultimately need to provide additional support,” he told Nine newspapers yesterday.