By Jeremy Sollars
The Southern Downs Regional Council says “as state-wide travel restrictions lift and Queenslanders look to stretch their legs” the council is reopening the Visitor Information Centres in Warwick and Stanthorpe from this Thursday, 28 May 2020.
A spokeswoman said both centres will open Thursday through to Sunday until Thursday 11 June, when normal 7-day trading is planned to resume.
“Social distancing guidelines and hygiene regulations including restricted entry numbers, hand sanitiser stations and sneeze guards will be in place to ensure the safety of not only the local volunteers who staff the centres but also the visitors who are expected to begin returning to the region,” the spokeswoman said.
Councillor for Tourism Stephen Tancred said the Visitor Information Centres “are a valuable resource for the region”.
“The Southern Downs and Granite Belt are regions with an incredibly diverse tourism offering,” Cr Tancred said.
“The Visitor Information Centres are great for showcasing some of our lesser-known treasures as well as our internationally renowned attractions.
“And it’s not just visitors who benefit from the VICs, I really encourage residents to visit the centres – you might find out something you never knew about our beautiful region.”
The council spokeswoman said during the COVID-19 restrictions the council has “continued to promote the region via the Southern Downs and Granite Belt website and social media platforms, maintaining interest and inspiring people to visit the Southern Downs and Granite Belt region as restrictions are lifted”.
“You can find the “Stanthorpe Visitor Information Centre” and the “Warwick QLD Visitor Information Centre” on Facebook.
“Alternatively, Council can always be contacted on 1300 697 372.”
The Warwick VIC is located at the Warwick Town Hall and the Stanthorpe VIC on Leslie Parade next to Quart Pot Creek.
BORDER DEBATE RAMPS UP…
The re-opening of the local Visitor Information Centres comes as debate over the continued closure of Queensland’s borders stirs community and tourism sector opinion.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk continues to defend her position on keeping the border closed – potentially until as late as September – telling state media today she’s having “sleepless nights” about the economic impact but insists she will “not be lectured to” by NSW and Victoria.
“South Australia has their borders shut, Tasmania has their borders shut, WA has their borders shut, NT has their borders shut, Queensland has their borders shut,” Ms Palaszczuk said today.
Speculation nationally today concerned suggestions travel between Australia and New Zealand could resume before Queensland’s border is re-opened.
Federal MP for Maranoa David Littleproud told the Free Times last week the Premier’s position was “totally at odds” with the advice from the nation’s chief medical officers and is a “political manoeuvre gone wrong”.