Uncertainty surrounding Queensland’s border closures is rattling several of the state’s key industries, as businesses brace for increasing trade difficulties.
Uncertainty surrounding Queensland’s border closures is rattling several of the state’s key industries, as businesses brace for increasing trade difficulties.

‘Angst and pain’: Industries hardest hit by border closure

Uncertainty surrounding Queensland's border closures is rattling several of the state's key industries, as businesses brace for increasing trade difficulties.

Industry bosses have called for clarity surrounding the border closure on Saturday, with business owners preparing to feel the brunt of millions of dollars of losses without visitors from NSW and ACT.

Master Builders chief executive Grant Galvin said the industry was "reeling from the lack of detail" and experiencing "angst and pain" around sectors that will be exempt and border communities and passes.

"We have many members who work in the Tweed area and many with crews that work across the Gold Coast and into northern NSW and they are now scrambling for news and certainty ahead of Saturday's border closure," he said.

He said there was one member with a 100-tonne crane from Currumbin booked to lift tilt panels in Byron Bay next week, with no idea if the crane crew will be able to return to Queensland following the job's completion.

 

"We've also got builders with teams from Queensland who are working on critical infrastructure projects in regional NSW and are now not sure what impact it will have on travelling team members and subbies.

Export Council of Australia chair Dianne Tipping said tourism would be the hardest hit industry by the closure with NSW and ACT after the sector only just reopened.

"Trade is hard for everyone, especially if they're waiting on spare parts, componentry or raw materials from other states but unless the border is shut totally like the industries in Victoria, they'll still go across the border but they'll be slow and difficult to get across with permits," she said.

"It's devastating for the tourism industry for any kind of shutdown whether it be international or domestic, and Queensland relies a great deal on tourism.

"Airfreight is still very difficult to get space on aircraft going out of any state in Australia particularly for exporters and importers."

Police check cars at the Queensland-NSW border.
Police check cars at the Queensland-NSW border.

Restaurant and Catering Association chief executive Wes Lambert said restaurant owners were concerned supply would be disrupted from Victoria through NSW.

He said some restaurants will have to amend their menus without being able to rely on produce from Victoria.

"It's certainly going to be an ongoing problem that is expected when borders are closed or restricted but even more so now that production is limited in Victoria," he said.

"Any business that relied on Victorian produce will be affected with slow downs - it's inevitable."

Originally published as 'Angst and pain': Industries hardest hit by border closure


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