QLD_GCB_ATG_LEAD_NEWBAR_8NOv19
QLD_GCB_ATG_LEAD_NEWBAR_8NOv19

‘Absolutely stupid’: Hospitality boss slams restrictions

TWO weeks on from mass Black Lives Matters protests and with few new coronavirus cases frustrated Gold Coast operators are questioning why crippling restrictions are still in place.

The city has flattened the curve and coronavirus restrictions should be lifted now, says a "frustrated" hospitality boss.

Scott Imlach, who owns a string of restaurants and bars, including Bine Bar and Dining at Mermaid Beach and Nightcap at Nobby Beach, said the hospitality industry has been "left in the lurch".

It's been a fortnight since the 30,000-strong Black Lives Matter protest in Brisbane and no new cases have emerged.

"We're definitely frustrated. It's just ridiculous. Where are we going with this, when will the next step happen? What's the game plan?" Mr Imlach said.

Hospitality boss Scott Imlach at Bine Bar and Dining. Picture: Jerad Williams
Hospitality boss Scott Imlach at Bine Bar and Dining. Picture: Jerad Williams

 

"It's a bit bizarre what's going on at the moment. We've had good days and bad days and we've had to really knuckle down and see how we operate. Every time the government makes changes we have to change our business to adapt properly."

Deputy Premier Steven Miles today confirmed there are only two active cases left in Queensland, both of them on the Gold Coast.

Mr Imlach said Stage 2 restrictions, limiting venues to just 20 patrons with at least 4 sqm of floor space per person, required more staff than normal, despite some of his businesses operating at a fifth of capacity.

"You've got to put staff on because you've got to do table service everywhere and you can't go to the bar and order a drink, even though you can go to a cafe and get a takeaway coffee. It's absolutely stupid, doesn't make sense at all,' he said.

"It's a costly exercise for us, full stop."

He said takings were down up to 80 per cent at some of his businesses and he was desperate to see a return to normality.

The State Government's Roadmap to Easing Queensland's Restrictions states that restrictions could ease from July 10, "subject to further planning and review".

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says COVID-19 community transmission in Victoria is a concern. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says COVID-19 community transmission in Victoria is a concern. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled

But Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has raised concerns in recent days about dozens of new COVID-19 cases in Victoria and the critical need to avoid a "second wave" in Queensland.

Mr Imlach wants to ask the Premier "when are restrictions going to be completely relaxed?" "There's no light at the end of the tunnel," he said.

The Premier's office has been contacted for comment.

Originally published as 'Absolutely stupid': Hospitality boss slams restrictions



KEY FACTOR: Three suburbs targeted in spate of car thefts

Premium Content KEY FACTOR: Three suburbs targeted in spate of car thefts

Bundaberg Police highlight three local suburbs where vehicles were stolen or...

VIDEO: Farms turned white as storms wreak havoc in Eidsvold

Premium Content VIDEO: Farms turned white as storms wreak havoc in Eidsvold

The skies finally opened up delivering decent rainfall and even severe hailstorms...

ON-SITE PHOTOS: RV Lifestyle Village coming to life

Premium Content ON-SITE PHOTOS: RV Lifestyle Village coming to life

See inside one of the village’s display homes and how the resort-style recreational...