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As companies in Kimberley continue to weather the bust and boom of the coronavirus pandemic, they want to know what candidates might give for the future in the forthcoming state election.

Ebony Muirson, chairman and general manager of tourist accommodation and tour company Kununurra Visitors Centre, highlighted the problems relating to locals as candidates made final voting pitches.

With the area still recovering from the effects of COVID-19, it seemed that labor shortages, border closures, education and airfare costs were on the minds of everyone.

Initially, the pandemic brought an almost complete shutdown of tourists, but there was a scramble to respond to the surge of domestic tourism as borders reopened.

Ms Muirson said it was too early to find out whether it would be a feast or famine for the forthcoming tourist season.

“A lot of people are concerned about the border uncertainty as we get a little closer to the start of the 2021 season,” Ms Muirson said.

“We cater very heavily to an interstate market … it really could all be ripped out from underneath us with less than 24 hours notice.”

She said finding workers for the season ahead was also proving to be a challenge.

“We’ve seen a reduction in the working holidaymaker, even the seasonal worker program has had some challenges. We’re talking about 30,000 less working holidaymakers in the state,” Ms Muirson said.

“A lot of businesses are paying more in the current market for labour.”

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