Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has called on the states to “move ahead with the plan” as agreed in National Cabinet; putting an end to “stringent” lockdowns, border closures and opening up in a COVID-safe way upon reaching vaccination targets.
“There’s a real economic and health imperative for our country to move ahead with the plan as agreed at National Cabinet,” Mr Frydenberg told Sky News Australia.
“We’ve got national accounts out this week and it will show the impact lockdowns are having on the economy.
“We know from the figures released about the mental health emergencies in both Victoria and NSW, our two locked down states, that they’ve skyrocketed.
Mr Frydenberg said the numbers are “quite devastating” and should be a “wake-up call” for the nation surrounding the “shadow pandemic”.
The Treasurer also said the economy is losing around $2 billion per week of economic activity as a result of the Victoria and NSW lockdowns.
The federal government alone was putting more than a billion dollars of financial support in the economy for businesses and households in NSW and Victoria, which would be “unsustainable” if kept up indefinitely.
“This is an unsustainable amount of economic support for our economy to see indefinitely,” he said.
“We just can’t keep doing it and that’s why we have to bring those stringent lockdowns to an end, bring those border closures to an end and open in a COVID-safe way.”