Tourism operators struggling
THEY didn’t get their feet wet, but that doesn’t mean this year’s floods didn’t affect Capricorn Coast tourism operators.
Richard Wilson, of the Keppel Bay Marina, said trying to get tourists back into the area after the floods was a huge effort.
Mr Wilson and plenty of other coastal tourism operators gathered yesterday to raise their issues with shadow minister for tourism, small business and manufacturing, Jann Stuckey.
Ms Stuckey visited the area as a guest of Capricorn Tourism Economic Development to see what the region has to offer and to launch the LNP’s Small Business Survey.
She said she was impressed with what was on offer, describing the region as one of the “best kept secrets” of Queensland.
Ms Stuckey said the survey was aimed at getting a snapshot from business owners and what some of their biggest issues were.
“The message that we’re getting is that they just need the government to give them a break,” Ms Stuckey said.
“They feel like they’re being attacked left, right and centre. Businesses who were flood-affected are in a queue to get some sort of compensation but if you’re in a business and indirectly affected you get absolutely nothing, so if your suppliers can’t supply you and your staff can’t come to work you get no assistance.”
Mr Wilson agreed that after the floods much of the focus was on the damage that was done.
“It is a big exercise to get people to come back to the region,” Mr Wilson said.
“Because it was branded as being flooded, and it’s hard to get away from that image.”
LNP candidate for Keppel Bruce Young agreed that coastal businesses were still doing it tough.
“They are struggling,” Mr Young said.
“The fact that we had the road closed for two weeks up there and the flow-on, the knock-on effect down here, those ramifications are huge.”