Townsville flood damage could hit tourist trade

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Townsville damage
The Alice River Bridge west of Townsville. PIC: Dept of Transport and Mains Road

The flood disaster which caused widespread destruction in the north Queensland city of Townsville has raised fears about the economic impact on the town.

The ABC reports that, after a mining downturn, Townsville has struggled for years with high unemployment and now experts  fear it will lose tourists, and broader economic momentum.

Economic lobby group Townsville Enterprise chief executive Patricia O’Callaghan has appealed to tourists not to cancel their Easter booking in the region, particularly those heading to Magnetic Island.

“Support our community, particularly our small businesses through this tough economic time,” she said. “We are open for business … it is important to reinforce the value not only of the immediate recovery but not losing momentum on the long-term plan and key priorities for the region.”

Townsville Chamber of Commerce chief executive Marie-Claude Brown was concerned industries like retail and hospitality will now take a hit.

“In the longer term, we’re concerned that the money will shrink and the confidence we were starting to see could have been washed away with the flood,” Ms Brown told the ABC. “Certain things are going to be in high demand — carpenters, plumbers, plasters, painters — so that will have an immediate impact, but while the recovery is underway in Townsville, there’s not a lot of discretionary dollars going around.”

And  economist Riccardo Welters from Townsville’s James Cook University said the city could actually receive an economic boost from the reconstruction effort.

“When the insurance money comes into town, that’s money that comes from outside Townsville, and it’ll be used to reconstruct the economy and that’s going to be a massive influx of money,” he said. “If you can keep it locally, you get multiplier effects off that money, which will help rebuild the city.”

  • Are you still planning to visit Townsville in the coming weeks and months? Comment below.


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2 Responses to Townsville flood damage could hit tourist trade

  1. What about the fact that here we are in 2019 and we still have not got a flood proof main highway north. At best we still have a bloody goat track, I dont know how this government or any other can look Queenslanders or anyone in the eye and say this is acceptable. We must be a joke to other states. Stevo

    • SE Queensland gets all the funding
      It is a joke. They don’t give a damn about northern qld despite so much industry and resources it provides the state.

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