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Elimination strategy would tank the economy

"Australia's businesses and their employees will welcome today’s comments by the Prime Minister calling out the prohibitive costs of adopting an elimination strategy to the COVID-19 pandemic," Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group, said today.

"Australia has done far better than was expected only a few months ago in suppressing the virus, allowing businesses to keep supplying households and providing jobs and in easing restrictions. The Victorian experience should not be seen as a reason to switch to an elimination strategy that would tank the economy. Rather, we should get the execution of the suppression strategy right, identify and correct mistakes and do our utmost to locate, isolate and treat new infections.

"Pursuing an elimination strategy would require us to close ourselves off from the rest of the world indefinitely and it would require draconian restrictions on Australian citizens and businesses. The costs of going down this route would be far greater than the extra benefits of seeking complete elimination.

"We also need to bear in mind the economic challenges to come with the scheduled end of existing JobKeeper and the additional JobSeeker payments. Imposing the costs of an elimination strategy on top of a winding back of fiscal stimulus would sap businesses confidence and make many wary of investing in a second attempt at recovery.

"Premier Berejiklian's resistance to any further NSW state-wide lockdown is also welcome and will help greatly in putting new life into the NSW economy.

"We would urge all the states to stay in the national tent and maintain the unified approach along the lines agreed by the National Cabinet," Mr Willox said.

Media enquiries: Tony Melville – 0419 190 347