Border blues flattening motorists' spark says business
WHEN Matt Moore bought a new business at Tweed Heads back in March he didn't think he would be operating in a pandemic no-man's land.
But for the new operator of Battery World in the NSW town, the border closures between the two states have been frustrating, time consuming and unnecessary.
"When we heard the news about coronavirus on the radio, we all thought it was nothing, just a storm in a tea cup, and some virus on the other side of the world," he said.
"The contract went unconditional and I found myself taking ownership just as all of retail, café and pubs were closing down.
"Talk about bad timing. It went from no big deal to 'holy crap' within a matter of weeks."
Mr Moore, who also owns Hanks Car Wash at Tweed Heads, said one of the biggest problems has been customers who break down in Queensland and have to wait for him to clear border checks before he can get to them.
That has meant a journey that would usually take minutes could take up to 40 minutes.
"We tell people that we will be there as soon as we can, but if you have a 500 metre long queue of cars waiting to get through the border it can take a considerably long time," said Mr Moore.
He called on the State Government to reopen the border as soon as possible to minimise long-term damage to the economy.
"I really feel sorry for the tourist operators," said the veteran businessman who used to own Telstra shops.
"It seems an overreaction to shut the whole economy down given there are only a few cases now."
He said that while his car wash business had been hit hard by the pandemic, the battery business continued to do well.
"If you think about it every police car, ambulance, fire engine and emergency care workers' cars need batteries, not to mention every hospital bed has a battery so we were providing a service," he said.
Originally published as Motorists getting flat batteries face long wait due to border blues