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One of Queensland’s oldest pubs blames the state’s border closures after it was forced to close

One of Queensland’s oldest pubs is forced to close for good – as owners blame the state’s ludicrous border closure and social distancing rules for driving them out of business

  • The Great Western Hotel in Rockhampton, Queensland is closing its doors 
  • Owners Colin and Vickie Bowden have blamed coronavirus for the decision 
  • The pub has been operating for nearly 150 years, after opening in 1862 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

One of Queensland’s oldest pubs has been forced to close its doors, with the owners saying they were driven out of business by the state’s strict border closures and social distancing rules.

The Great Western Hotel in Rockhampton made the announcement on Tuesday, after nearly 150 years serving customers.

Owners Colin and Vickie Bowden issued a statement on Tuesday, blaming a raft of government measures for ending the pub’s long history. 

One of Queensland’s oldest pubs – The Great Western Hotel-  has been forced to close its doors, with the owners blaming coronavirus for a drop in patronage

Owners Colin and Vickie Bowden issued a statement on Tuesday, blaming a raft of government measures for ending the pub's long history

Owners Colin and Vickie Bowden issued a statement on Tuesday, blaming a raft of government measures for ending the pub’s long history

‘Due to Covid-19 the Great Western Hotel will not be reopening,’ they wrote.

‘The Great Western Hotel is an iconic local tourist destination which is heavily dependent on overseas and interstate visitors.

‘The social distancing restrictions, border closures and travel restrictions have had a major impact on the Hotel.’

‘The inclusion of the Great Western Hotel in the Safe Night Precinct has also had a negative impact.’

The Safe Night Precinct introduced in Queensland in 2018 increased police patrols around ‘problem areas’, introducing ‘recovery’ hubs for people to sober up, and ID sharing to prevent people going to another pub after being kicked out of a previous one.

The venue was established in 1862 and has featured hundreds of rodeos and musical performances

The venue was established in 1862 and has featured hundreds of rodeos and musical performances

The Great Western was established in 1862 and has featured hundreds of rodeos and musical performances.

Limitations around public gatherings mean they were unable to continue holding these events, or predict when they may be able resume operating them. 

The embattled Queensland Premier is facing an uprising from desperate tourism operators who are demanding she opens the state's borders so they can rescue their businesses from ruin after coronavirus lockdown

The embattled Queensland Premier is facing an uprising from desperate tourism operators who are demanding she opens the state’s borders so they can rescue their businesses from ruin after coronavirus lockdown

Border closures are costing businesses on the Gold Coast alone as much as $310million a month

Border closures are costing businesses on the Gold Coast alone as much as $310million a month

Federal Member for Capicornia Michelle Landry has  described the pub’s closure as ‘absolutely tragic news’.

‘The Great Western Hotel has been a Central Queensland icon since 1862 and it will be sorely missed by locals and visitors alike,’ she said.

‘This is why I am so vocal on the state borders being reopened. Our businesses provide jobs to locals and they contribute to the economy. They need the certainty that comes with our borders being reopened.

The embattled Queensland Premier is facing an uprising from desperate tourism operators who are demanding she opens the state’s borders so they can rescue their businesses from ruin after coronavirus lockdown.

Border closures are costing businesses on the Gold Coast alone as much as $310million a month.

The owners are taking expressions of interest for anyone who wants to buy or lease the property. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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