The business community jointly signed an open letter calling on the state and federal governments to work together to implement the planned path to lift the blockade once the vaccination rate reaches 70% to 80%.
letterIssued by the Business Council of Australia (BCA) and signed by the CEOs of more than 80 major companies employing nearly 1 million Australians, including the four major banks Coles and Woolworths, Telstra and Optus, etc.
The letter said: “Providing a light at the end of the tunnel will encourage more Australians to get vaccinated.” “We need to give people some hope, some expectations, some plans, and confidence in their future.”
These companies stated that they are encouraged by the current acceleration of vaccination rates and that they will eventually reach the point where it is necessary to open up and coexist with the virus like other countries.
A spokesperson for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) told The Epoch Times that the current vaccination rate reflects Australians’ efforts to return to normal life as soon as possible.
“But behind these efforts, we are keenly aware that the pandemic has had a profound personal impact on those who lost their jobs or were fired. [and] For business owners who are unsure of the future,” the spokesperson said.
CBA stated that although Australians have shown amazing resilience, they know through dialogue with customers and employees that they want certainty in the future.
“As an industry employing nearly 190,000 people, Australian banks know how important it is to provide certainty, confidence and expectations,” the spokesperson said. “Most importantly, we remain very confident in Australia’s long-term prospects.”
The CEOs called on governments to “stick to the end” and begin to relax restrictions when the vaccination rate reaches a previously agreed threshold.
They said: “Australia is responding to a mental health emergency while responding to the global pandemic.” “Some of the effects of the current lockdown are hidden, and the effects will be long-term.”
Many states in Australia have been actively pursuing the “COVID-zero” strategy through active lockdowns, resulting in a record number of calls to the mental health hotline.
In particular, since the beginning of the pandemic, residents of Victoria have endured more than 200 days of lockdown, longer than residents of all other states or territories.
However, the Governor of Victoria, Dan Andrews, recently weakened his stance on the strict lockdown and agreed to open the state after the vaccination rate reached 70%.
“We gave everything for this, but now we are very clear that we will not reduce these numbers; they will increase instead,” Andrews told the media September 1.
However, the governors of Western Australia (WA) and Queensland have stated that once the vaccination threshold is reached, they will not open their borders.
Western Australia Governor Mark McGowen accused the federal government of trying to bring COVID-19 into the state.
“The Liberal Party’s intent to open its borders to infected countries is fraught with danger,” McGowan says“If the Liberal Party gets what it wants, they will introduce COVID-19 into Western Australia and cause thousands of jobs and some lives lost.”
The three mining giants with major operations in Western Australia — Rio Tinto, Fort Scoo Metals and Woodside Petroleum — did not sign the letter, while mining giant BHP Billiton did.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times