Qld’s hard border closure costing us $5m a day
Hard border closures all but ending flights between Queensland and NSW ripped $1.28 billion out of the economy since March, or more than $5 million a day, a shock new report reveals.
Business Council of Australia commissioned research to be released Thursday shows state border closures curtailing flights cost the country a total of $69 million a day over the past eight months.
It comes as Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles warned the border bubble could be expanded before the state completely reopens to NSW.
The Business Council will today urge the National Cabinet to back a plan to get borders open and planes flying again before Christmas - estimated to pump $3.3 billion into the national economy over the summer.
Opening up at a future point to five key safe travel international destinations, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore and China, would breath an extra $20 billion into the country over 12 months, the BCA report says.
Ernst and Young analysis commissioned by the BCA also showed a $1.22 billion loss from the economy from flights ending between Brisbane and Melbourne between March and October, $101 million in a reduction in flights between Brisbane and Darwin and $189 million lost from a halving on flights between the state capital and Townsville.
It also found losing international travel cost the economy $61 billion over the same time period, or $250 million a day.
BCA boss Jennifer Westacott said the slashing flights and travel had been an "enormous hit to the economy".
"The safety of Australians remains our number one priority but states like NSW have put robust systems in place to manage this virus, so people can safely and freely get on with their lives," Ms Westacott said.
"We are not asking for a free-for-all - we need a highly-targeted, careful and gradual reopening of the economy based on health advice with robust nationally consistent systems in place for departures and arrivals, quarantining, local containment, and digital tracking and tracing."
She said while it should not happen immediately, there needed to be planning to gradually and safely remove international travel restrictions once health conditions allow.
"This is not a temporary problem for Australia. If we fail to begin carefully reopening, we will lose our international competitiveness and ability to attract investment and talent.," Ms Westacott said.
Meanwhile, Mr Miles said Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young may decide to extend the border zone further into NSW next week, rather than reopen the border to all NSW residents.
"The concern in NSW continues to be those cases of unlinked transmission," Mr Miles said.
"We'll take that into account, as well as reviewing the situation in Victoria. I encourage you not to look at this as a 'yes' or 'no' question."
Originally published as Qld's hard border closure costing us $5m a day