Knee-jerk state border closures send a terrible message

“If our states decide that their first response to an inevitable COVID outbreak anywhere in the country is to shut their borders, they will risk Australian employers concluding that our federation is irretrievably broken,” Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group, said today.

“A knee-jerk border closure sends a clear but terrible message to investors and nationally focused employers that there can be no regulatory certainty to doing business in Australia.

“These outbreaks are sadly inevitable for a long time to come and they should and can be dealt with locally. They are a challenge for states to show that their testing and tracing systems are good enough to meet small and localised outbreaks. By closing their borders, states are making it clear they have no faith in their systems and are prepared to inflict enormous economic pain on each other and themselves.

“The agreed national strategy sensibly does not aim for elimination and states that go for this approach are following a road to economic ruin,” Mr Willox said.

/Public Release. View in full here.