The cost of Queensland’s closed border

Monday 15 June, 2020 | By: Faith Jarvis


  • The border closure is costing the Queensland economy $16.7 million per day

Clarity and confirmation of when Queensland’s border will open is crucial. As internal modelling by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) finds the border closure is costing Queensland tourism operators $17 million per day.

CCIQ’s economic and policy advisor Jack Baxter explains the confusion and no clarity from Premier Palasczuck on confirming the exact date when the border will open is causing distress and strain on businesses, with the potential to prolong the enormous financial burden.

“It’s beyond disappointing that the Premier has not confirmed a border reopening date.

“Knowing a date is desperately needed, as our modelling makes it very clear, Queensland businesses are losing close to $17 million per day due to Queensland’s borders being closed to interstate travel.

“Small business owners, especially those in the tourism, accommodation, hospitality and retail industries, are watching their life’s work waste away.

“Right now, businesses need certainty and clarity, as they have been pushed to their limits due to months of uncertainty.

“Businesses small and large alike need a lead in time to be operational.

“The longer the delay in announcing a date, creates more unnecessary uncertainty and gives businesses less time to prepare to be back up and operational. Meaning they are at risk of not be ready to trade, potentially missing out on crucial revenue.

“This ongoing confusion could be eliminated today by committing to a reopening date,” Mr Baxter said.

Last week,  CCIQ released findings from the most recent Suncorp-CCIQ Pulse survey, which shows  90% of businesses said their sales and revenue projections had fallen as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions.

If realised the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland predicts that the turnover of small businesses could collapse by up to $27 billion during the June quarter.


Understanding the numbers:

State border closures (foregone expenditure from tourists):

During the 2019 calendar year, domestic tourists spent $19.4 billion across Queensland.

Of the 25.9 million visitors to Queensland, 8.1 million, or 31.4 per cent were from interstate (i.e. outside of Queensland).

Appropriately, the annual spend of interstate tourists in Queensland last year totalled $6.1 billion, or $16.7 million per day.

This means that between now and when the state borders are opened (July 10), Queensland tourism operators will lose $468 million in expenditures from interstate visitors.


OR: $(‘= days until borders reopen * $16.7 million’).


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