Windfall awaits: $653m and 66,000 jobs

OPENING the borders and moving to stage three restrictions will create an economic boom of $653 million a month across the state and get 66,000 people back in work, it can be revealed as Treasurer Josh Frydenberg unleashes on Queensland's border shutdown costing jobs.

But Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk appeared to waiver on reopening the state to the rest of the country, saying Queenslanders "do not want the borders opened".

Newly released Treasury modelling, obtained by The Courier-Mail, lays bare the pain from job losses, but also the huge windfall waiting to be unleashed.

The analysis shows there will be an extra $653 million every month cycling through the state's economy once stage three of easing restrictions comes into place.

It would come not just from interstate visitors coming back into the Sunshine state, but tills ringing as Queenslanders embrace growing freedom, get out to cafes, cinemas, host bigger gatherings, weddings and even some sporting events.

Queensland police officers are seen operating a vehicle checkpoint at Coolangatta on the Queensland-New South Wales border. Picture: AAP Image/Dave Hunt
Queensland police officers are seen operating a vehicle checkpoint at Coolangatta on the Queensland-New South Wales border. Picture: AAP Image/Dave Hunt

This in turn will see an extra 66,000 Queenslanders back in jobs across these industries, according to the Treasury modelling.

In a shot reflecting the growing frustration at Queensland refusing to confirm an opening date, Mr Frydenberg blasted the border shutdown.

"There is no reason for state borders to be closed. Closed borders cost jobs," he said.

"Queensland is the tourism state yet its borders remained closed, penalising business owners and workers unnecessarily.

"With no health advice suggesting a need to have border closures it is time that they are opened up to help get people back into work and our economy moving.

"Every day state borders remain closed is one day too many."

More than 120,000 Queenslanders lost their job in April, including 23,000 on the tourist hotspot of the Gold Coast and 16,000 in Townsville, Australian Bureau of Statistics data reveals.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says keeping the borders closed is costing jobs. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says keeping the borders closed is costing jobs. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch

There were more than 8 million interstate visitors who came to Queensland in 2019 who splashed out an average of $750 each.

Ms Palaszczuk has continued to point to the state's restriction road map, which indicates there could be a reopening of borders and other relaxations from July 10 - pending a review at the end of this month.

But she made a stunning claim in parliament yesterday, saying she's travelled across regional Queensland in recent weeks and has been told people don't want their families to catch COVID-19 so aren't pushing for the border to open.

It follows mass protests across the country in recent weeks, raising concerns there may be an increase in community transmission.

"People across Queensland do not want the borders open and risk all of our great health response," she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said there was no hard and fast rule over how many days of no community transmission would be required interstate before the borders can open.

"Of course we recognise that businesses are doing it tough … but they would be doing it even tougher if there was an outbreak of community transmission in Queensland," she said.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says Queenslanders told her they don’t want the borders reopened. Picture: Jono Searle/Getty Images
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says Queenslanders told her they don’t want the borders reopened. Picture: Jono Searle/Getty Images

Opposition leader Deb Frecklington asked about the government's lack of economic modelling on the border closure and accused Ms Palaszczuk of "flying blind in the biggest economic crisis in Queensland's history".

 

 

Originally published as Windfall awaits: $653m and 66,000 jobs



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