Scrapping of loan deal for theme parks ‘concerning’: Palaszczuk

The Premier says the withdrawal of a Federal Government loan deal for Gold Coast theme parks is a serious issue that could threaten hundreds of jobs.

Village Roadshow Theme Parks and Ardent Leisure had been in talks with the Federal Government about securing millions of dollars in support to reopen after being forced to shut the gates in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Village Roadshow alone was estimated to be burning around $10 million a month while the gates remained closed.


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But talks to secure millions of dollars in loans to help them get back up and running were suddenly brought to a halt, leaving theme park operators blindsided.

The move comes as some parks prepare to reopen within days, with Sea World the first to welcome back guests from Friday.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says it’s a blow to theme parks on the Gold Coast.

“This is really concerning because my understanding is that the theme parks were actually relying on that Federal government support,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Of course we put in State government support and I understand that the Minister for Tourism is speaking to her federal counterpart about these matters as well.

“It’s a very serious issue and of course it comes down to hundreds of jobs, hundreds of people are employed in theme parks, they play a very important role and we wouldn’t want to see those jobs put at risk.”

But the LNP claims it’s the State Government that needs to step up, urging Labor not to let the theme parks go under.

“The Palaszczuk Government should act to secure the future of the Gold Coast’s theme parks,” LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said in a statement.

“The Federal Government has done the heavy lifting supporting businesses through coronavirus with JobKeeper and billions of dollars in other stimulus.

“Queenslanders are sick and tired of Labor’s petty politics and constant blame game.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government offered Virgin airlines $200 million when they didn’t need it – but they have left theme parks high and dry.”

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