OPEN STATE: The Queensland Government will open Queensland's borders on July 10.
OPEN STATE: The Queensland Government will open Queensland's borders on July 10.

How opening Qld borders will impact Lockyer, Somerset

THE decision to open the state’s borders has been met with mixed responses from the regions’ business leaders.

Set to relax on July 10, Queensland’s borders will open to Australian states other than Victoria.

But, while the change will improve business for some, Kilcoy Chamber of Commerce President Bronwyn Davies is not convinced the region would benefit.

“If the borders are open and people are able to fly, they will go to the usual destinations on the coast,” Ms Davies said.

“It won’t help the regions – we just need Brisbane (residents) to take day trips and overnight trips.”

READ MORE: Keep state borders closed: Lockyer Chamber of Commerce

Somerset Business Alliance Vice-president Paul Heymans was more hopeful.

“It remains to be seen but obviously if were to get more people from northern New South Wales, that would be great,” Mr Heymans said.

He said it was time to open the borders – but there would be risk involved.

“We have got to respect the COVID-19 beast but the economy is also important,” he said.

“Personally, I put people before the economy but, at the same time, businesses will benefit from interstate tourism and I think it’s going to be good for the borders to open.”

READ MORE: Somerset businesses to benefit from eased restrictions

Ms Davies agreed it wasn’t too early to open the borders.

“I would hate for anyone to feel it is over yet – it’s not over and it won’t be for some time,” she said.

“But, leaving Victoria to settle down a bit, I don’t think it’s too soon – Queensland is doing the right thing; we are taking it slowly and purposefully.

“The last thing our regions need after the drought, coronavirus and fires, is for the virus to filter in to our areas.”

Lockyer Chamber of Commerce President Paul Emmerson said fresh outbreaks in Victoria and New South Wales concerned him.

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“If you had asked me a week ago, I would have been 95 per cent comfortable but now I think it’s more than just a little bit premature, Mr Emmerson said.

“(The outbreaks) show how fragile this whole thing is.”

He said he didn’t expect the borders opening to benefit Lockyer Valley tourism.

“We’re pretty safe to let people travel around within Queensland and we should be able to do anything we like within it,”

“But I think the borders should be shut.”

Read more stories by Ebony Graveur.