Annastacia Palaszczuk’s insistence that tourists from New South Wales and Victoria could remain banned from Queensland for months to come is another hammer-blow for the devastated Cairns tourism sector.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said almost three out of every four interstate visitors to Far North Queensland (72%) come from NSW and Victoria.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk’s border shambles is closing businesses and costing jobs in Cairns and Far North Queensland,” Ms Frecklington said today.
“Local jobs rely on more than 500,000 tourists from New South Wales and Victoria flying north to Cairns every year and spending in the community.
“Interstate tourists pump more than $1.4 billion into the Far North every year.
“Visitors from New South Wales and Victoria are critical for Cairns and local jobs.
“Labor’s mixed messages about the border are creating an economic crisis for Cairns.
“The Palaszczuk Labor Government has failed to do any economic modelling on their border closure, which shows it is flying blind through the biggest economic crisis for almost a century.
“The LNP understands that businesses and visitors need certainty and so we support re-opening our border to all Australians in July.”
LNP candidate for Cairns Sam Marino said unemployment in the city was rising fast.
“Cairns is becoming one of Queensland’s unemployment blackspots and Annastacia Palaszczuk is doing nothing to help us,” Mr Marino said.
“Tourism businesses and their employees need to have certainty about when the border will re-open, but Labor’s confused messages have destroyed confidence and jobs.
“Labor should be helping Cairns through this crisis, but they’re making it worse.”
LNP candidate for Barron River Linda Cooper said Annastacia Palaszczuk should stick to the roadmap that she gave to business.
“There’s still time to protect jobs, but Labor must change course fast,” Ms Cooper said.
“The Far North’s economy relies on attracting tourists from across the whole of Australia.
“Slamming the door to visitors from the two biggest states will only destroy more jobs.”