The Property Council has today warmly welcomed the announcement of Queensland’s COVID Vaccine Plan as an important step in the state’s COVID recovery.
The Property Council’s Queensland Executive Director, Jen Williams, explained that with Brisbane’s CBD office vacancy lagging at circa 50 per cent of pre-COVID levels, the re-opening benchmark will provide a much-needed injection of confidence for CBD businesses, retailers and tourism operators who can now plan for the festive season and beyond.
“Today’s release of the COVID Vaccine Plan provides the certainty that industry and the community have been calling for, ” Ms Williams explained.
“Queensland has been fortunate to avoid the extended lockdowns experienced in other states, however there is no doubt that ongoing social distancing and health restrictions, along with the ever-present threat of lockdowns, have impacted confidence across many sectors.
“The CBD- the epicentre of the state’s social, economic and cultural institutions- has been particularly hard hit by forced and voluntary work from home. Having a plan for when mask wearing will be minimised and lockdowns will end removes some of the barriers to a full return to the office.
“The Vaccine Plan will not only allow for greater people flows across the border, the proposed removal of health restrictions for venues requiring all staff and patrons to be vaccinated will be music to the ears of many arts, entertainment and hospitality businesses who have been doing it tough throughout the pandemic.
“Despite the challenges presented by COVID, the Queensland economy overall is in an enviable position. Interstate migration remains strong, planning is now underway for the Brisbane 2032 Games, and investor interest in the state has returned.
“To make the most of the opportunities ahead, it is now incumbent upon us all to get back to the CBD and help support our local businesses in the lead up to what we hope will be a bumper festive season,” said Ms Williams.