‘We want a date’: Protesters demand border certainty

FRUSTRATED owners and workers from the Gold Coast tourism industry met at The Spit this morning to protest against Queensland's ongoing border closure.

About 50 cars descended on the area to convey their message to authorities.

Greg Daven, regional manager for Hot Air Balloon Cairns and Gold Coast, said the message to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was clear.

"We want a set date for when the border will be reopened," Mr Daven said.

"We want them open by July and we need time to prepare. It takes a lot to reopen businesses.

"Every day we wait is a loss of thousands of dollars for our industry.

"For protests to be happening here, the Sunshine Coast and Cairns shows hospitality is really hurting.

"Let's face it, these are areas that normally fight for tourism and are in competition (with each other), so for us to come together …"

Michael Gilmore from Jetboats Extreme said he was surprised by the turn out.

"It's amazing how many people are here, it was only advertised through word of mouth," Mr Gilmore said.

 

Gold Coast tourism operators gather for a protest against the ongoing border closure. Picture: Kyle Wisniewski.
Gold Coast tourism operators gather for a protest against the ongoing border closure. Picture: Kyle Wisniewski.


"We want to be back working, or getting ready to work - but instead we are here."

Meanwhile, another High Court challenge is being flagged against the constitutional right of the Queensland government to keep the state's borders closed.

School students, workers and freight drivers can enter the state without an issue, but Queensland is closed to anyone else because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We are arguing that the Queensland government did not have the constitutional right to shut the border," Mahoneys litigation partner Mitchell Downes said in a statement on the firm's website.

He said the move was part of a wider effort to help Queensland's tourism industry recover from the effects that COVID-19 had on the industry and businesses and people that rely on it.

A gofundme page has been set up to fund the challenge and allow the plaintiffs to start the case in the High Court "as soon as possible".

The Australian reported the challenge was lodged on Monday, with six plaintiffs including a Brisbane travel agency and a Cairns charter operator, plus interstate individuals and a company.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has refused to buckle to pressure to reverse her decision to keep the borders closed during the coronavirus crisis.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has also threatened legal action in the High Court if borders aren't reopened.

The Senator gave the Queensland premier until 4pm last Thursday to open the borders or face legal action.

Originally published as 'We want a date': Protesters demand border certainty


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