Border build-up to hit businesses hard

 

BUSINESS owners on the Tweed and Coolangatta are expected to be hit hard by the long traffic queues from today.

More Coffee Please owner Felipe Castravechi said his Coolangatta customers had given up on returning to his cafe because it was a "hassle" to cross the border.

"I've been here for 13 years and I've never seen traffic like that before, all the streets were lined with cars," Mr Castravechi said of chaos last Friday when police changed permit conditions. Today is expected to be much worse.

"Soon enough people are stop going trying to cross the border."

Halo Hair & Beauty Salon owner Rachel Hannah said her Queensland clients had given up returning to her Tweed Heads salon until traffic on the border improved.

 

Halo Hair and Beauty Salon owner Rachel Hannah is uncertain of the future of her business and her eight staff after the Federal Government announced all non-essential businesses must close.
Halo Hair and Beauty Salon owner Rachel Hannah is uncertain of the future of her business and her eight staff after the Federal Government announced all non-essential businesses must close.

"I don't blame them, they're literally stuck in it for a couple of hours trying to get home," she said.

"I have some positive hopes with the new Ducat St checkpoint opening and (that) it takes the pressure off Wharf St."

Cafe Scooterini owner Hollie Mills said she was in "two minds" about the Queensland Premier's decision to ban Victorians.

Ms Mills said Coolangatta businesses relied on their southern tourists at this time of the year but could not afford tighter restrictions if there was a second wave of COVID-19 cases.

"If we have to go back to just takeaway, I can't do that again, there's only so many kicks we can take," Ms Mills said.

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"I understand there's a level of safety that needs to happen … but people won't sit in traffic for an hour and a half to be loyal to their coffee shop.

"I'm just going to dig my heels in and keep plugging away and keep my staff employed."

Choofas Smokehouse & Seafood owner Scott Littler said Coolangatta businesses had been dealt the short of the end stick.

Mr Littler said the last thing Queensland needed was a rise in coronavirus cases like Victoria but there needed to be more checkpoints to allow locals to cross the border more efficiently.

"We've got to do the right thing, but let's plan this and do it sanely," Mr Littler said.

"At the moment they've put three crossings in and it's not adequate, we need more checkpoints.

"We have Ducat St now but that should have been in play from day one.

"COVID has attacked people's common sense, particularly politicians and bureaucrats by not asking people who know the area for their advice."

Originally published as Border build-up to hit businesses hard



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