The peak industry association responded to the recent border disputes between the states and territories by saying that the closed borders are unnecessary barriers for businesses.
“The community need[s] to have open borders and greater confidence in the future if they are to resume spending and investment and take recovery to the next level,” said chief executive Innes Willox.
“Business needs to build momentum and get into a strong position so that it can keep employing people and begin rebuilding as fiscal support is removed.”
Mr Willox added that the discussions around what constitutes a COVID-19 hotspot is as much nonsense as the border closure itself.
“In the past 24 hours, there were six reported positive cases of COVID-19 in NSW out of close to 17,000 tests. Five of those positive cases are from overseas and currently in hotel quarantine. With NSW’s population at 8.1 million, those numbers represent a new low for hotspots,” he said.
“The NSW-Vic border closure, too, looks more indefensible as each day passes. There are virtually no cases in regional Victoria and with Melburnians locked in, the border closure itself should be removed immediately and entirely, not bit by bit as is happening.”
Mr Willox also responded to the Queensland government’s decision to open the border to the Australian Capital Territory but not reopen to New South Wales which landlocks the territory as it is a “hotspot”.
“While it is no laughing matter, who knew until today that there was a border between Canberra and Queensland? The tiny landlocked capital once only had a boundary with NSW, but now it has one with Queensland,” Mr Willox said.
“While the reopening of flights between the ACT and Queensland is welcome news for residents of the capital, it highlights the nonsense of the ongoing state border closures.
“It will now be easier to get from Canberra and Adelaide to Brisbane than it will be to get from Tweed Heads to Coolangatta or, until recently, than it was to get from Wodonga to Albury.”