Deb Frecklington, who led the Liberal National Party (LNP) to a poor result in last weekend’s Queensland state election, warned during the campaign that the tourism industry would be hit hard by strict border restrictions introduced to prevent the spread of Covid-191. Tourism Tropical North Queensland’s chief executive officer, Mark Olsen, said the industry generated a record $3.5bn in the 12 months before the Covid-19 lockdown in Australia, but “with the border closures our industry has been losing $6m a day”. This time of year, tourism operators would normally expect to see an increase in international travellers avoiding the boreal winter, with up to 55,000 visitors a day. If international travellers are still locked out of Australia next year, as seems likely, then it is also likely that many operators will go under, especially as the federal government’s JobKeeper is due to be rolled back by March 20212.

Given that the Spanish Flu pandemic lasted almost three years, it seems this Covid-19 pandemic still has a way to go. We are only a year into it and many countries are experiencing a second or third wave much worse that the first, with their daily record of new cases still climbing; currently globally over 500,000 per day, while deaths are near 75,000 a day3. Given this, it seems unlikely that anything, especially air travel, will return to normal before 20234. While that probably seems like an eternity for some tourism operators, the pain can be to some extent lessened by more federal government assistance.

Much of the tourism in Tropical North Queensland is dependent on the Great Barrier Reef, and it is damage to this caused by global warming which is now beyond the capability of any government to remedy; it appears doomed. It has lost 50% of its corals since 1995, and mass bleaching events are becoming almost a regular occurrence5. The irony here is that while the federal government is helping tourism operators hit by Covid-9 lockdowns with temporary programs like JobKeeper, it is the federal governments emissions policies, or lack of them, which is adding to global warming, and this has doomed the reef, permanently.

Sources

  1. https://www.thecourier.com.au/story/6934586/qld-tourism-booming-in-lnp-leaders-seat/
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/oct/30/were-losing-6m-a-day-queenslands-tourism-industry-pleads-for-more-attention
  3. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
  4. https://thenewdaily.com.au/life/travel/2020/05/14/air-travel-2023-coronavirus/
  5. https://www.sciencealert.com/coral-of-virtually-every-species-age-and-size-is-declining-in-the-great-barrier-reef#:~:text=ENVIRONMENT-,Since%201995%2C%20We’ve%20Lost%20More%20Than%2050%25,of%20Great%20Barrier%20Reef%20Corals&text=Since%20the%20mid%2D1990s%2C%20coral,according%20to%20a%20new%20study.

2 Comments

  • Russell says:

    I wonder really what difference it makes in Queensland which of the Liber Party or the Laberal twins wins at any given time. To me the north of this land is a strange place – after all it produced Katter the wide whacky Hatter and The Nasty “Person” from Ipswich. ( – by the way, there’s a rhyme in there!!) To be fair it also produced Rudd the … (guess, 3 letters rhyming) and The former GarrulousVaingloriousIgnominiousVomitous Parrot of 2GB, who now excretes its p.. from the Murk-doch Sky. Yes, the once life-teeming Great Reef is condemned by both outright sabotage and inane inaction on climate change by tragic trogs on both sides. But I thought an unsolicited donation was made by Lord President Tur.b.ll a few years back, to a fantastic institute dedicated to saving the reef. Well, perhaps half of the GBR, or at least one hundredth of it anyway. That means putting a massive umbrella over a section to stop the sun getting through, which would of course in the end still kill all the coral. Look mate, let’s get real: the reef’s doomed, so I say we effen drill for gas on its entire length, and pipe the gas to a Hunter Valley huge new energy plant. Let’s name it “The Fitzgibbon-Taylor Methane and CO2 Emissions Factory”.

    AAH, Australia – ya gotta sh-ove it…………for massive government ineptitude and turpitude with bad bad attitude.

    • admin says:

      Russell,
      Yep is is depressing, but what gets me is the hatred of expertise. One of the tourism muppets in Queensland said that because Terry Hughes states that the reef is in dire trouble (he has been tracking the bleaching), the federal government should stop funding his work. This sort of head up your anus attitude is what makes me despair of the human race in general and Australians in particular. We will kill millions of ourselves.

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