Greetings from Gayleen
– July 2020
We have had an amazing trip on the road over the past month. We left Cairns at the end of June and travelled almost 9000kms throughout north and west Queensland. It was super enjoyable to visit 30 shire council regions, some are huge in geographic size and tiny in population. It was interesting to hear the effects Covid 19 has had on the communities and how they each managed their communities, working and personal life during this challenging time. Most of the regions experienced no cases of the virus and many communities felt that life continued pretty much as normal, while observing social distancing and other restrictions. Some communities found it difficult to source essential supplies due to the travel distance to food stores. In some instances, the nearest small grocery store is hundreds of kilometres away, which was outside allowed travel parameters. It was a relief to these communities that remote areas eventually had an easing of travel distance allowances. All the regions have suffered with lack of tourism, some of the larger centres have suffered with closures in small businesses in their towns including retail stores and cafes.
For the first two weeks of our trip the only travellers we oberved were Queenslanders and the roads and caravan parks were very quiet. It was so quiet every passing vehicle got a hello wave. We were near Cunnamulla when the border to NSW opened and overnight we witnessed a flood of caravans and travellers from NSW and quite a few from Victoria, that had all been waiting at border towns to cross into our beautiful state for some sunshine and travel. Reactions to interstate travel was mixed with many people quietly nervous with the influx of interstate travel. At last report there has been over 1 million border passes issued. So, whilst it is great to have a much-needed boost to our economy it goes without saying that many people are anxious.
We have been posting some great photos and interesting information facts on all the regions we have visited throughout our travels. If you are interested to see some of our amazing regions, please have a look on our Facebook.
It has been good to see some activity back in the far north. Cairns was a bit like a ghost town when we left a month ago and I now see open restaurants, cafes and tourism operations and people out and about enjoying themselves. In the Far North unemployment remains at levels that are among the highest in the country, so we still have a long way to go for recovery. It is great news that the Jobkeeper program has been extended to give business and the economy some time to recover.
This month Precruitment have been awarded two tendered Preferred Supplier Arrangements with major employers in the regions. With this great news we anticipate some good job opportunities will result. Remember we are also still actively assisting jobseekers with our industry professional body the RCSA, and State Government initiative Jobfinder please follow the link if you or someone you know is seeking employment opportunities and need some free assistance.