This winter was envisioned as a bumper tourist season, but COVID-19 restrictions in many parts of Australia have cut it off. Photo: Thredbo Media.
After what was to be a bumper winter snow season with an influx of tourists to the Snowy Monaro area, the mountain community went from a lack of housing to a need to support local businesses.
Major businesses in the region rely heavily on the influx of travelers and tourists, and the latest wave of COVID-19-related restrictions and lockdowns across Australia has had a severe economic impact.
Snowy Monaro Regional Council Mayor Peter Beer said the normally large and growing number of tourists is why the area is so well served by a range of businesses, but now needs support. .
âAfter successive years of natural disasters and the tremendous effects of a second year of this pandemic, the Snowy Monaro business community needs the community. [at large] to step up and show their support, âhe said.
The council co-signed a letter to the NSW government with other members of the NSW local government organization calling for the provision of urgent additional support to businesses.
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While this COVID-19 lockdown has so far only been short-lived, the council believes its impact will be felt for much longer.
Immediately after the lockdown was announced, the first data showed that some accommodation providers in Jindabyne saw their occupancy rates drop from 100% to 30% almost overnight.
In anticipation of the anticipated exceptional season, a four-month trial of a 75-site temporary van / camping park at the Jindabyne Equestrian Resort in Snowy Monaro was approved in mid-June 2021 at a regular council meeting.
It was hoped that the lawsuit might bring some relief to workers informally camping in their cars and vans.
Speaking in favor of the motion to approve the application, councilors noted that the four-month trial period would allow businesses, workers, residents and council to assess whether trailer parks such as the one approved constitute an appropriate solution to the shortages of winter accommodation in the region. .
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Residents in the immediate area had expressed concerns about the effect this new housing might have on local roads, water, property values ââand amenities.
It is for these reasons that the original application, which included a provision to expand the facility to include 400 more sites, was not approved.
All local businesses struggling in light of the current lockdown are encouraged to seek help from the NSW government the recently announced availability of grants, tax deferrals and extended economic stimulus initiatives.
The Council can offer additional advice and assistance to businesses and individuals, and has a hardship program for anyone having difficulty paying their water bills, tariffs, or other Council bills.