Business leaders have urged the Queensland government to release a roadmap for reopening the state’s borders ahead of the summer holidays.
The Palaszczuk government has repeatedly refused to budge on its strict border policy, but things could soon change after Health Minister Yvette D’Ath told residents to get vaccinated in the next five to six weeks.
Australian Industry Group’s Rebecca Andrews says setting a timeframe will incentivise Queenslanders to get the jab.
“We certainly hope it happens for business’ sake as well as our community’s sake. And if we continue on with our vaccinations, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t reopen,” she told Sky News Australia.
“We think it’s vitally important, and that’s why we’re calling on the Queensland government.
“We’ve advice from health authorities to set that date, to set that target – it should be when 80 per cent of the population is vaccinated, and then there’s certainty out there in the community for businesses.”
Ms Andrews said any threat of an outbreak once borders reopen could be mitigated by the plans drafted by the tourism sector to ensure a safe reopening of borders.
“The business community has been planning and operating under lockdowns and COVID restrictions over 18 months now – they are well planned,” she added.
“I think the government should have confidence in businesses and community’s ability to be able to open the borders safely.
“They know what to do, they have their plans in place, so I have no hesitancy in supporting the business community because they know what to do, and they have plans in place to do it.
“Vaccinations are our way of safely reopening; keeping the borders closed is not sustainable so we need to reopen our borders so our businesses and our communities and Queenslanders that are currently locked out of Queensland can come home and can contribute work and enjoy Christmas and holidays in this state.”