Media release: Mayor Makes Plea to Accommodation Providers to Cancel Bookings

By March 29, 2020 COVID-19

City of Busselton Media Release

The Mayor of Busselton Grant Henley has made a direct plea to accommodation providers in the South West to cancel all bookings for at least the next four weeks

Despite pleas from Local Governments on behalf of regional communities, a direction to close accommodation businesses to non-essential travellers has not been included in measures to kerb visitors to the regions.

In the absence of this directive, Mayor Henley has written to regional accommodation providers appealing to them to cancel bookings in an attempt to further deter travellers who may seek to flout the State Government’s regional border closures that come into play at mid-night on Tuesday (31 March).

City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley said: “The State Government’s Intrastate Regional Boundary restrictions will go some way to dissuading visitation but only a lack of accommodation options and cancellations of existing bookings will truly dissuade those intent on flocking to the region, and especially those intending to beat Tuesday’s implementation thereby breaching the direction of the police and government.

The City of Busselton is leading by example in closing our Council-owned caravan parks other than to permanent residents, those who urgently need accommodation on compassionate grounds or those who legitimately find themselves stranded in the region without a principal place of residence or the means to get there.

Many other local caravan / tourist parks have already cancelled bookings, other than on compassionate grounds, and I commend them on their initiative. Several are going further and offering heavily discounted long-term rates to those already in the region who are legitimately displaced. Other accommodation providers across the sector must now do the same if we are to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

The Mayor’s appeal to accommodation providers was made on behalf of the broader South West community, with support from the Augusta Margaret River Shire and Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association. “As diligently as we follow all the advice provided, we simply cannot cope with an influx of visitors at this time,” he said.

Mayor Henley pleaded with accommodation providers to stop taking new bookings and cancel existing bookings noting that when the time for recovery is upon, the City will do everything in its power to reboot the economy. “We will invest in the promotion of the region, launch direct flights and reignite the events calendar with vigour. Now we ask you to do the right thing – in the interests of us all.”

This media release has been issued by the City of Busselton. Contact: city@busselton.wa.gov.au

WA Government Advice – More Information

The WA Government will introduce further restrictions on travel within Western Australia from Tuesday night 31 March 2020 (12.00am AWST Wednesday morning 1 April 2020), to assist in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Western Australian intrastate travel is defined as movement through the boundaries of the regions of Western Australia.

These regions are:

  • Perth and Peel (due to their close proximity, the Perth and Peel regions will combine into one region)
  • South West
  • Great Southern
  • Goldfields-Esperance
  • Mid-West
  • Wheatbelt
  • Gascoyne
  • Pilbara
  • Kimberley.

Western Australians will not be permitted to leave their regional boundary. Police have the power to enforce these restrictions and fines of up to $50,000 can be issued.

More information: https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-the-premier-and-cabinet/covid-19-coronavirus-travel-and-transport-advice

If you are an MRBTA member business looking for support and advice, please get in touch via membership@margaretriver.com / 9780 5959.