Media release

Palmer supports careful reopening of outback businesses

Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party has backed calls for outback communities to be a case model for reopening as COVID-19 restrictions ease.

Leader, Clive Palmer said the party faithful had been loud and clear in regional Queensland about getting back to business in a responsible manner.t

“Regional and outback Queensland has been doing it particularly tough with crippling drought and now the COVID-19 downturn,’’ Mr Palmer said.

“The Queensland Premier should give special consideration to towns such as Longreach, Winton, Blackall and Charleville to rebuild community spirit and get the economy moving again,’’ Mr Palmer said.

Blackall postal contractor Stan Haughton said he was concerned outback hotels, cafes and other businesses may be forced to close for good if restrictions were not eased.

“As the current limitations continue, the ability of traders in outback communities to be resilient and re-open their doors weaken every day,’’ Mr Haughton said.

“In these communities where there are zero coronavirus cases, why not give businesses the opportunity to responsibly start opening up to their local clients again, and put workers back on their payrolls?

“The pubs never get more than 20 to 30 people in at any one time so social distancing rules are easy to maintain,” he said.

Mr Palmer said the party supported an easing of restrictions to allow regional Queensland businesses to open to local patrons, with all the necessary safeguards in place including limiting the number of customers, social distancing measures and other health protocols.

“The Premier should allow these communities to reopen as a test case for a broader easing of restrictions across the state,’’ Mr Palmer said.