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Queensland lockdown impacts to be long-lasting

"The reopening of Queensland is welcome Easter news for business and the community but the ramifications from the uncertainty created by the lockdown will be far-reaching," Rebecca Andrews Queensland Head of the national employer association Ai Group said today.

"The Government needs to carefully review its decision-making processes to deal with a handful of cases that were in the end effectively tracked down.

"Health officials and the Premier had earlier this month suggested that city-wide lock-downs would be unlikely and this approach could have been adhered to.

"The doubt and uncertainty will be a drag on the Queensland economy for many months with businesses and individuals deferring or cancelling travel to the State due to the risk of further lockdowns. This will have a cost both in tourism losses and lost investment and jobs in the State.

"Queensland is getting on top of its testing and tracing and like other states it should have faith and not up-end lives and livelihoods when there are alternative, targeted approaches which have been proven to be effective elsewhere.

"There should be a balance of risk approach in the future where health, business and community considerations are all factored into COVID decision-making. If the Premier's hands are tied because of legislation that obligates the Government to act solely or predominately on the advice of health officials then that legislation could be very easily changed to give elected officials a greater role in COVID decisions.

"Easter is an opportunity to reflect on and review the shut-down decision and the ideal outcome should be a new approach that gives greater certainty for business and the community in the future in the Government's responses to COVID," Ms Andrews said.

Further comment: Rebecca Andrews – 0400 321 198