How state can get the party started again
A LIVE music and events program should be created by the State Government to lure patrons back into Queensland pubs and clubs decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the peak industry body has declared.
With the State Government preparing to ease restrictions on picnics and a growing focus on economic recovery, the Queensland Hotels Association has called for a detailed plan to help one of the state's largest industries bounce back.
The association's chief executive Bernie Hogan said any economic recovery plan needed to be heavily focused on the services sector, which included his 900 members.
"Many other areas have been operating all the way through the COVID-19 outbreak, whereas the services - hospitality and tourism - sector needs a direct injection," he said.
"If you're talking about recovery, it could be a government program to encourage visitation, more events such as live music to get people out and about."
Modelling by Deloitte has revealed cafes, restaurants, pubs and hotels would lose about $8 billion in wages and profits across the next few months - the biggest hit to any industry.
Mr Hogan's call comes as Howard Smith Wharves, one of the city's renowned hospitality areas, prepares to reopen its riverside dining precinct for takeaway from Saturday.
Patrons will be permitted to picnic with food and drink on the public lawn next door, which is considered a public open space.
Crowd numbers and social distancing rules will be strictly enforced, however, with police and extra security on hand to maintain the peace.
Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said an extra 140 officers would be on the beat across southeast Queensland this weekend to enforce social distancing regulations.
"Those officers will be concentrating on those areas we know people gather in large groups," he said.
Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young confirmed Howard Smith Wharves could provide takeaway, but not open their sit-down restaurant.
"People can go out in their own household groups or single people with one other person to have a picnic but again they've got to maintain that social distance, it's very important," she said.
Originally published as How state can get the party started again