EMPTY HOUSE: Barnacles Cafe and Dolphin Feeding employees Aaron and Kate Shore stand where tables and chairs have been removed. Photo: Ben Dunstan
EMPTY HOUSE: Barnacles Cafe and Dolphin Feeding employees Aaron and Kate Shore stand where tables and chairs have been removed. Photo: Ben Dunstan

‘Grave concerns’ for Cooloola Coast tourism

CAFES and restaurants in the Gympie region are struggling with the new health regulations enforced on Monday, which restrict them to takeaway orders only.

There were another 78 cases of coronavirus detected across Queensland yesterday, bringing the total number to 397.

Long-term Tin Can Bay resident and Barnacles dolphin advocate Joe Mcleod said it had practically killed the town.

“Yesterday morning only four coffees were sold and we had 14 dolphin feeders which was nothing,” Mr Mcleod said.

“We’re having lots of people interested in eating in but due to the restrictions they can only have takeaway coffees.”

Residents will notice that tables and chairs have now been removed from the foyer in order to meet the requirements.

Barnacles Cafe and Dolphin Feeding employs eight people and if sales continue to plummet their jobs will be in the firing line.

“If we have more days like this casual staff will have to be let go, which is very sad,” Mr Mcleod said.

The next concern is the upcoming Easter holidays which is usually one of the busiest times of the year for Barnacles, but could be one of the quietest times on record.

“We thought we were going to have an Easter bump this year but due to the closing of the borders, the isolation and the 14-day quarantine, it will have an impact on the trade,” Mr Mcleod said.

“If we have another three or four days with extremely low numbers of people, it’s going to severely impact coastal communities because you can’t keep people on.”

Mr Mcleod urged immediate action from the government to help small businesses during this very difficult time.

“I’ve got grave concerns for the Cooloola Coast tourism industry,” he said.

Gympie Times

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