Another kick in the guts for small business owners
THE Labor Government is about to deliver perhaps the final kick in the guts to 60,000 Gold Coast small businesses today.
Less than a week after the Bulletin revealed Treasury was not modelling the financial cost of the NSW border closure, the Palaszczuk Government is preparing to argue in the High Court that Queensland's exile from the rest of the country is not responsible for any economic hardship.
Let's digest that. If the Government says it has not bothered to calculate the financial fallout from the border closure, how can it then argue it has had no bearing?
The Bulletin asked the Government on Monday if it had reviewed its decision about failing to model the fallout from the border closure. It did not answer the question.
Instead the Government, courtesy of the taxpayer's purse, was preparing a court brief that will put another knife into the back of Gold Coast business owners.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has tried to play the Gold Coast for a fool during the border lockdown. Business owners have accused Mayor Tom Tate of turning his back on them.
However, the Bulletin and street-smart business owners have refused to cop it.
Aside from the embarrassing Treasury gaffe, this newspaper has revealed in the past two weeks:
● Tourism leaders expect up to $4.3 billion to be stripped from the local economy - and $310 million every month the border is closed.
● About 7500 businesses closed their doors in April alone.
● Tens of thousands of jobs were expected to be lost.
● Just three commercial flights a week into Gold Coast Airport. Pre-coronavirus, it had more than 400 flights a week.
● Theme parks are still awaiting their slice of two rescue packages dating back to March. A $32 million new rollercoaster sat idle in a Dreamworld carpark.
● Mental health facilities have recorded a significant spike in demand as Gold Coasters struggle with depression, anxiety and alcohol. More people are self-harming.
● Business owners say they are on the "cusp of rebellion" after watching 30,000 protesters defy social distancing rules in the Brisbane CBD. Premier Palaszczuk infuriated them further by saying she told protesters to stay away.
Another Bulletin report today shows the Gold Coast will lose $1.2 billion in domestic travel revenue in the next three months. On the Palaszczuk Government's court defence, local business owners will not feel that pain.
Everyone but William St knows that is ridiculous. Enough is enough. It is time to stop this stubborn charade.
Originally published as Another kick in the guts for small business owners