No clear Covid roadmap for tourism, Tesch claims
Member for Gosford Ms Liesl Tesch has claimed that the State Government has failed to provide a clear "road map" for tourism businesses on the Peninsula.
Ms Tesch said the NSW Government continued to ease restrictions without clear directions for business.
"In late May, regional NSW was given the green light for tourism, allowing a sweep of visitors to enjoy the Coast and while we're excited to welcome tourists with arms wide open back to our beautiful Peninsula, the lack of direction in the road map has left our local businesses, already doing it tough, having to seek out their own guidance."
However Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast Mr Adam Crouch rejected this, saying more than 70,000 businesses in NSW had so far downloaded Covid-19 Safety Plans since they became available on June 9.
"Industry stakeholders have also been part of this process so that business owners and employees can be kept up-to-date," he said.
"The NSW Government is also undertaking a full-scale ad campaign - TV, print, radio and digital - to ensure our entire community is informed of the Covid-19 restrictions being gradually eased."
Ms Tesch said: "Our local businesses are trying to develop their own recovery plans; sadly though they need to rely on the government to do so.
"Our government's lack of consideration and understanding for how tough our local businesses are doing is obvious through their staggering lack of a road map out of Covid."
Ms Tesch quoted the example of coach tourism operator Scenic Horizon at Ettalong.
She reported owners Kerrie and Darrell Eddy saying they were "Covid-safe now but guidelines were slow in being released".
She quoted Ms Eddy as saying: "We have been in business for 21 years and specifically have a focus on senior travel, so I can't see why we haven't been given a stronger focus."
Some restrictions were confusing.
"We can take 48 people on the coach, but only 20 can gather at our destination points," Ms Eddy was quoted as saying.
"We had planned a tour later this month but motels have a cancellation policy of 30 days and because we couldn't be confident the restrictions would allow us to do that tour we had to cancel."
She said the business had sustained huge financial loss during the pandemic.
Ms Tesch said the business had had to cancel a significant number of bookings and, because of Covid, had returned bookings to the value of $215,000, which has left them at a substantial loss.
Media release, 17 June 2020
Liesl Tesch, Member for Gosford
Media statement, 24 June 2020
Adam Crouch, Parliamentary Secretary Central Coast