“The remaining state and territory border restrictions are becoming more unjustifiable as each day passes. State governments should wean themselves off the political attraction of border barriers or risk their economic recovery and the jobs of their community,” Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group said today.
“The less pessimistic economic news this week should be no excuse for complacency on the part of state governments or be used to justify prolonging the border restrictions. An ‘I’m alright Jack’ approach by states can only have negative impacts on the national economy in the long run.
“While the RBA feels the economy may have edged back into growth in the September quarter there is a very mixed picture being reported by businesses depending on the state or territory and industry they are in.
“From a labour market perspective, we are definitely not out of the woods with effective unemployment still at 1990s recession levels.
“There is a massive divergence between Victoria and the rest of Australia with the September quarter most negative in Victoria but with NSW also adversely affected through its proximity and integrated supply chains. Given the size and connectedness of these two economies it is vital the borders are completely opened as soon as possible.
“After a rocky start, according to the Victorian government their testing and tracing system is now at a level where we can have confidence that outbreaks can be dealt with on a localised basis and they can open their borders to people and trade without delay,” Mr Willox said.