Lifted restrictions ‘won’t help’ holiday park in turmoil
THE easing of coronavirus restrictions will not help holiday parks according to one owner, who claims he will be forced to close his caravan park by July.
The State Government has announced recreation areas, national parks and dams will open to the public for day use from May 2.
The relaxation in guidelines has been welcomed by the public, as they can now go fishing, boating and picnicking.
All campgrounds will however remain closed until further notice from the Chief Health Officer.
Cania Gorge Tourist Retreat owner Tony Haupt said the lifting of these restrictions would do nothing to help his businesses.
“The national park is open, and people can still do the walks and everything,” Mr Haupt said.
“But by not allowing camping, it’s not helping us in any way,” Mr Haupt said.
Mr Haupt believes the complete blanket laws on camping has seen his business take an enormous hit over the past two months.
“During Easter we would’ve cleared $50,000 easy, and it’s the only time of the year we do make a bit of money,” he said.
“The rest of the year we have dribs and drabs coming in, along with school holidays, but Easter is our busiest time.
“We’d have 750 plus campers in here.”
Mr Haupt has been operating the retreat for six years, but has been running parks for more than 12 years.
Three caravan parks in Central Queensland have already closed due to the pandemic according to Mr Haupt, after they declared it was not viable to remain open.
“The way the government is talking, it sounds like they’re not going to open up caravan parks until the end of this year,” Mr Haupt said.
“Will the government be paying my mortgage in the meantime?
“They can’t just expect small businesses to close their doors and not be able to live.”
Mr Haupt and his wife are currently receiving government assistance, but he believes it’s not enough to continue maintenance on the park and survive.
“The only way they’re going to help us is if we can open our parks to a limited amount,” he said.
“Seeing as there are 40 spots, you could have 20 in, and have space between each camping spot.
“I know there’s a virus out there, but something has to be done because this is our livelihood, and they just don’t care.”