The local caravan park was used overnight from 100 percent to just 10 percent, she said.

“New Years Day is our busiest day of the year. We were filled to the limit, but we had so much to throw out and we will never get that money back.

“The emotional toll of the past 12 months is enormous. It’s still an amazing business, but my husband and I are so emotionally drained that we made the decision to bring it to market and regroup as a family. “

Ms. Woods said the government’s support after the Black Summer fires, particularly to cover rental payments, “got us through 100 percent” but this time she doesn’t know how “we’ll make it through the rest of the year.”

Eden-Monaro MP Kristy McBain, pictured with Labor leader Anthony Albanese, says businesses are in dire need of support.Recognition:Wolter Peeters.

Eden-Monaro MP Kristy McBain, whose voters include the southernmost tourist hotspots and the NSW Snowy Mountains, said it was “terrifying for businesses to lose their peak season two years in a row”.

“Now is the time to really support the regions that are struggling. We have had floods, drought, bushfires, COVID and two border closings,” Ms. McBain said.

“I have had many lodging, retail, and hospitality providers contact me and say they have some tough decisions to make in their business.

“We need to figure out how best to help them, whether through tourist travel vouchers or corporate tax incentives, we need everything on the table.”

The Murray River twin cities Echuca and Moama are particularly hard hit by border closings.


Moama contains many of the area’s larger resorts and attractions. While it’s geographically in NSW, it relies on Victorians for about 80 percent of its tourists. The larger town of Echuca on the Victorian side is home to many Moama employees who face an uncertain future.

In late November, local operators celebrated the NSW government’s decision to reopen the border with Victoria after 20 weeks of what locals have described as a “multi-faceted debacle”.

Less than five weeks later, on New Year’s Eve, it was Victoria’s turn to close the borders with NSW.

Echuca Moama Tourism executive director Kathryn Mackenzie said the recent shutdown could be the last straw for some operators unless the government grants financial relief.

“These are good deals. They are not border deals. They are sturdy. But these locks with NSW and now Victoria are only devastating the destination,” Ms. Mackenzie said.

“Our operators were fully booked for January. A resort had 221 people in standalone cabins. Now it’s empty. Motels were full, now they’re empty. Another operator just told me this week that they are returning $ 400,000 of cancellations to have. “”

Felicia Mariani, executive director of the Victoria Tourism Industry Council, said the industry needed targeted support beyond March, when JobSeeker is expected to end.

“We need some kind of targeted aid package that recognizes that the tourism industry was the first to be hit by all coronavirus issues and that we will absolutely be the last industry to come out,” said Ms. Mariani.

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Mike is the climate and energy correspondent for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

Zach is a reporter for The Age. Do you have a story Send me an email at zach.hope@theage.com.au

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