Bennett calls for bipartisan support on recovery plan
BURNETT MP Stephen Bennett says the community should be proud of its actions during the health crisis, but must start thinking about how to recover economically.
This comes as the state opposition released a road map to recovery, a plan which theoretically lays out how and when specific types of businesses and services could reopen across the state.
Mr Bennett said it was important to put such a conversation piece on the table and provide businesses with certainty about their future sooner rather than later.
“We’ve been talking locally with the Chamber of Commerce now for about a month to what a revitalisation of our economy should look like,” Mr Bennett said.
“As we move from a health crisis, we now have a jobs crisis and an economy crisis and it’s only appropriate that we start the conversation about what a return to some sort of normality in our lives looks like.”
He said since no recovery plans had been provided by the state government, Queensland’s Coalition members got the ball rolling.
“If we’re going to tell cafes that in a couple of weeks that they can start to reopen under certain conditions, they need to prepare,” he said.
“If we want our libraries, we want our libraries, we want our zoos to start to prepare for what that might mean, staffing, materials and other things, we want to make sure that there’s a road map to recovery.
“It’s really important that people understand about when they’ll be able to travel further distances, when they can travel interstate and more importantly, when they can start to put their staff back in the shops, back in the cafes and back in the restaurants.”
He hoped the road map could function as a consultation piece and would be very happy if the current government adopted it and rolled it out.
“We are quite frankly should be proud of our actions with the health crisis, but we’re letting ourselves down if we don’t put an economic road map to recovery in place right now to allow our communities to get ready and get on with the job of providing our economy some stimulus,” he said.
Mr Bennett said businesses needed to be able to plan reopening, rather than reacting to announcements made by the day.
“We can’t just keep dropping little time bombs on businesses in our community without some pre-planing,” he said.
“I think that’s what is sensible today. We have put out a consultation road map to recovery and I just hope businesses and our community welcome it, and more importantly the government gets on with the job and works with us in a bipartisan way to make sure Queensland can recover as quickly as possible.”
And while the road map talks about opening up borders to get tourism back on track, Mr Bennett said this process would be gradual and based on official health advice.
“We must provide the tourism industry with a timeline for that to happen,” he said.
“That’s why the road map to recovery needs to be in place and it does talk about opening the borders in the end of July.
“That’s why I think right now, put that on the table, let the health professionals have a look at it, but more importantly let the tourism operators be prepared for that eventual date of reopening.”
Queensland Coalition leader Deb Frecklington said a commonsense approach needed to be taken to ease restrictions in communities like Bundaberg which had handled the virus so well.
“Many businesses in Bundaberg rely on grey nomads and drive tourism and the LNP’s plan provides a road map for those businesses to get going again,” Ms Frecklington said.
“The region also depends heavily on agriculture and the LNP’s plan will give businesses in the entire supply chain much-needed confidence.
“This LNP’s Road Map to Recovery complements our plan to fix Paradise Dam to protect jobs and deliver water security for the region, which is in stark contrast to Labor’s plan to tear it down.”