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Gold Coast tourism leader says Coronavirus restrictions ‘death by a thousand cuts’

Gold Coast tourism leader says Coronavirus restrictions ‘death by a thousand cuts’
March 26, 2020

Destination Gold Coast Chief Executive, Annaliese Battista has described the series of escalating Federal Government restrictions aimed at reducing the spread of Coranavirus as “death by a thousand cuts” for the tourist reliant city.

Battista has called on Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to “shut the place down”, saying the latest round of restrictions, which have shut down restaurants, pubs, casinos alongside other non-essential businesses, don’t go far enough.

Battista told the Gold Coast Bulletin “the tourism sector is advocating to shut the place down, provide the short-term cash initiatives for businesses to stop going broke and provide certainty for businesses which have closed.

“It’s been eight weeks since the tourism sector was first impacted by China’s travel ban. Since then it’s been death by a 1000 cuts.

“We have been privately hoping for a lockdown for a while but publicly advocating for one since Sunday.”

Supporting Battista and calling for a ‘united front’ during the Coronavirus crisis, Destination Gold Coast Chairman, Paul Donovan commented “Annaliese is doing a great job and I support her but I believe we need a united front right now.

“It’s about team Gold Coast and everyone is on it, from the Prime Minister to Premier and Mayor as well as everyone in the tourism industry.”

Battista has also lobbied for critical cash injections to be fast-tracked to businesses in need, adding “we know that at a minimum, COVID-19 has already cost Gold Coast tourism sector between $600 million and a billion dollars, and this figure is going to increase by at least 310 million every month.

“Tourism is the bedrock of the Gold Coast economy, every single member of the Gold Coast community relies on the sector in some way.

“Mums and dads and businesses of every size are finding it incredibly different to survive the Covid-19 crisis, and urgently need cash and support from all tiers of government to survive.

“Gold Coast businesses are crying out for assistance to stay afloat, they need immediate local, state and federal government support in the form of cash boosts to survive now and to revive when the threat of coronavirus is neutralised.”

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27th December 2019 - Plans for 10,000 capacity Gold Coast arena move forward

25th November 2019 - Queensland Government to fast track The Star Gold Coast’s $2 billion redevelopment masterplan

20th November 2019 - Major Events Gold Coast names inaugural Chief Executive

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18th September 2019 - Live Nation’s Roger Field considers potential of new Gold Coast entertainment arena

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