Future Northern Rivers Think Tank facilitator Jane Laverty presents the team's ideas at Southern Cross University Block A.
Future Northern Rivers Think Tank facilitator Jane Laverty presents the team's ideas at Southern Cross University Block A.

Businesses lose $10K every week, many ‘will not make it’

AN INDUSTRY leader has warned Northern Rivers businesses face shutting their doors before Christmas and bleeding more than $10,000 a week unless something changes with Queensland's hard border closure.

Survey results have also pinned the Northern Rivers as being more adversely affected by the border closure than recipients of the NSW Government's stimulus package at the Victorian and NSW border.

Business NSW Northern Rivers Regional Manager Jane Laverty explained the region's financial loss could put many out of business by Christmas.

"Our Queensland border closure business impacts survey paints a concerning picture for businesses and workers," Ms Laverty said.

"The truth is many of our businesses will not make it to the end of September let alone end of October.

"The Northern Rivers has a very similar profile to that of the southern border closure except for the weekly average revenue loss. The average weekly revenue loss on the VIC border is $8,500 per week and in the Northern Rivers we have an $10,500 average weekly revenue loss.

"This kind of financial hit equals job losses and business closure if no intervention is forthcoming."

Tweed MP Geoff Provest said the issue was raised at the Border Recovery Committee meeting yesterday and he plans to advocate for a business subsidy based on the more than 500 responses from the region's businesses.

The survey shows about one in 20 businesses in the Northern Rivers have had to shut up shop due to the border closure.

This means six per cent of the survey's respondents indicated they had to close due to the Queensland border closure, compared to with 5 per cent in a survey Business NSW conducted for businesses on the Victorian border.

Ms Laverty said reopening the border or moving to a managed border system is the only real solution.

However, she said the community was looking for northern NSW businesses to receive a similar package of support as was granted to businesses along the southern border in almost identical circumstances.

"A managed border closure for business and workers, designed in a way that manages risk and provides the Queensland community with confidence in our COVID-safe approach, could ensure people keep their jobs and that we are in a better position together for recovery," Ms Laverty said.

"Our businesses and workers are prepared to do whatever it takes to give Queensland people the confidence to allow us to do this and will happily join a register and use an easily identified permit to confirm they are moving across the border for work only."



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