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Our states creating more confusion and complexity at their borders

"It is welcome that the Queensland Government has kept to its plan to limit the Brisbane shutdown to three days.  This demonstrates the Government is gaining in confidence in its testing and tracing regime. The experience should also give the Government the confidence to proceed with more targeted responses to outbreaks in the future," Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group said today.

"The impacts of the Brisbane shutdown were mitigated by the fact so many Australians were still on holiday.  With many businesses now returning to full operations after the holidays, there is an urgent need for State Governments to resist broad lockdown options.  Localised actions against COVID-19, which have proven successful elsewhere, would be preferable to locking down entire cities.

"It is costly on the community and businesses to disrupt millions to deal with a handful of cases that can be controlled with effective testing and tracing regimes as have been successfully applied in NSW.

"Now that Victoria has established a permit system to enter the state we have a permanent Checkpoint Charlie established at its borders.  The way some states have behaved, this could lead to a race to the bottom as other states imitate or try to outdo the Victorian approach.  The way this is heading we may ultimately need a special domestic passport to get around the country.

"While a nationally consistent approach to hot spot definitions and lockdown triggers would be desirable, the chasm between the states looks unbreachable with some states adopting total elimination strategies.

"Total elimination is impossible to sustain in the long run nationally and moving to consistency in this regard would require unwelcome compromise that would potentially mean an end to the most successful approach adopted by NSW. Total elimination strategies only serve to crush and kill business investment and job creation," Mr Willox said today.

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Tony Melville – 0419 190 347