State border closures should be scrapped once all vulnerable Australians are vaccinated, the nation’s business lobby group says.
Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott has called for all borders to be permanently open once vulnerable people are vaccinated to stop further damage to businesses and the economy.
And even though state borders are open at the moment, Ms Westacott told ABC RN Breakfast that snap closures remained an ongoing threat to businesses and industries across the nation.
“They close it at the drop of a hat, they close without warning, they close based on often a very few number of cases,” she said.
“We need to give Australians confidence that they can go on their holidays, they can open their business, they can plan a business trip.
“When we finish vaccinating people who are vulnerable, at that point there are no more state border closures.
“We permanently open those borders because they have been, economically, incredibly damaging.”
Ms Westacott said at some point during the vaccine rollout there also needed to be a consideration to bring international students back into the country.
“We can have some of these what we’re calling vaccine corridors with countries that have got low transmission rates and have got a widespread vaccine rollout,” she said.
“This is just a commonsense sort of thing.”
The Business Council of Australia has also revealed a three-step plan it believes should be implemented alongside the vaccine rollout, including to safely reopen and keep the economy open, sharpen the message around the nation’s health objective and targeted support for industries that are still not able to reopen because of continued restrictions.