Assistance welcome, but we still need to get basics right

Business Council of Australia

Once again the Morrison Government has put Australian workers first with targeted assistance for lockdown affected Victorians, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.

“Just as it has throughout the pandemic, the federal government has shown that it is willing to listen and adapt as circumstances change.

“This assistance will help thousands of workers struggling through the uncertainty of yet another job-killing lockdown in Victoria.

“It is disappointing that a failure to get the basics right in Victoria means taxpayers across Australia are footing the bill.

“If states like NSW can manage outbreaks and keep the state open while facing the exact same risk factors as Victoria, then why can’t Victoria do the same?

“Victorians are right to ask why their state continues to bear the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic while the rest of the country gets on with it.

“New outbreaks shouldn’t be a surprise to any state or territory; this is a highly contagious virus which we’ve been living with for 15 months.

“We know the risks and vulnerabilities so why haven’t we got our systems right yet?

“The Halton review gave us recommendations on best practice quarantine and NSW has led the way on a world class contact tracing system, it’s past time to put those lessons in place.

“We also need to do everything we can to build confidence in the vaccine and fast-track its roll-out.

“We must urgently learn from our experience dealing with the virus to avoid these kinds of confidence crushing lockdowns and end the need for emergency federal government assistance which ultimately all taxpayers foot the bill for.”

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