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Youth will suffer the most if our borders and economies open too slowly

"While we need to be cautious in our national approach to rebooting our businesses, by hanging on to border closures State Governments are denying us a critical tool in that economy rebuilding effort. The longer the downturn the deeper the recession and maintaining barriers and restrictions that inhibit that return to normalcy will guarantee a worse outcome overall," The Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group said today.

"In a longer and deeper recession it will be the youth who will suffer most. Youth unemployment runs at double the rate of general unemployment (13.8%) and youth employment levels take twice as long to recover compared with overall employment levels. Their jobs are often the first to go but they will also be the group that benefits the most from a speedier safe return to business.

"Border barriers to people movement that prevent tourism in safe numbers and businesses looking for opportunities and investments should be taken down without delay. Ultimately, the Premiers should show leadership and exercise their authority to direct officials to remove any remaining barriers between the states.

"Despite keeping the borders open between our two largest states of NSW and Victoria there have been negligible transmissions between those states. It was arguably not the border closures that kept transmissions down in shuttered states; it was the national approach to restricting travel to short distances only. The border closures have always been anachronistic and unnecessary and reopening should be a top priority," Mr Willox said.

Media enquiries: Tony Melville – 0419 190 347