This border closure nonsense has to stop

“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. While the reopening of flights between the ACT and Queensland is welcome news for residents of the Capital (presumably you can forget a Brisbane trip if you are from Queanbeyan) it highlights the nonsense of the ongoing state border closures,” Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employers association Ai Group said today.

“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.

“In announcing the re-establishment of travel relations with Canberra, the Queensland Government noted that it would not re-open to the ‘hotspot’ of NSW.

“The hotspot definition 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.

“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.

“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. Closed borders are unnecessary barriers and businesses and the community need 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,” Mr Willox said.

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