Australia’s biggest companies urge heads of state to end lockdowns once nation hits 80% vaccination rate

An open letter signed by 80 Australians larger companies called on state prime ministers to stick to the national plan to reopen the country.
Doubts have arisen as to the likelihood of the blockages ending once the national vaccination rate reached 80%, although all states and territories have agreed to a unified plan under the National Cabinet.

Under the Australian Constitution, the power to control state borders rests solely with state governments.

Australia’s biggest companies are calling on states and territories to stick to the national reopening plan. (PAA)

Jennifer Westacott, chief executive of the Business Council, said the business world doesn’t want special consideration, but rather a clear plan with a timeline.

“The CEOs are asking nothing more than state and federal leaders to stick to the national plan to reopen so that businesses can start planning and give the country confidence that we will move forward,” said Mrs. Westacott.

A full copy of the letter can be read below.

A sample of some of the signatories of the open letter. (Provided)

Signed by companies such as Coles, Telstra, Shell, the Big Four Banks, Woolworths, Wesfarmers and Qantas, the letter represents the employers of nearly one million Australians.

“Australia is juggling a mental health emergency alongside a global pandemic. Some of the impacts of the current lockdowns are hidden and the effects will be long lasting,” the letter said.

“As vaccination rates increase, it will become necessary to open up society and live with the virus, just as other countries have done.

“The National Cabinet has accepted a roadmap that will get out of the blockages, with an easing of restrictions of 70% and 80% of vaccination rates. We must stay the course. “

The companies employ a total of one million Australians. (Janie Barrett)

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg joined the business community in his call to stick to the plan.

“I want to focus on the fact that today you saw an unprecedented number of CEOs from major Australian companies, BHP, Telstra, Coles, WestFarmers, Qantas, Commonwealth Bank, AGL, representing over one million workers in our country, that it was important for them to express their support at the national level ”, declared the treasurer.

“If we don’t stick to the national plan, jobs will be lost. If we do not stick to the national plan, our debt burden will increase. If we don’t stick to the national plan, the welfare of Australians will suffer. “

As of August 31, 2021, 35% of eligible Australians over the age of 16 were fully vaccinated.

Sydney’s CBD remains almost silent as the NSW lockdown continues. (Sam Mooy)

Read the open letter from the business world:

We, the undersigned, represent companies that employ nearly one million Australians and provide products and services to people across the country. We’ve seen how effectively this country can unite over the past 18 months – with state and federal governments working alongside communities and businesses.

We saw the effectiveness of blockages in suppressing the virus last year and slowing its spread today as we vaccinate the population as quickly as possible. We are encouraged by the growing momentum of the immunization program, with Australia now administering more doses per capita each week than the UK or US has ever achieved in their programs.

At the same time, we can also see the impact of lockdowns on our employees, on our customers, on our small business suppliers and on communities and families across the country. Australia juggles a mental health emergency alongside a global pandemic. Some of the impacts of the current blockages are hidden and the effects will be long-lasting.

As vaccination rates increase, it will become necessary to open up society and live with the virus, as other countries have done. The National Cabinet has approved a roadmap to break the blockages, with an easing of restrictions of 70% and 80% of vaccination rates. We must stay the course.

Informed by Doherty Institute modeling, it balances the risks of COVID in a more vaccinated population, with the risks of keeping our country divided and cut off from the world indefinitely, our children out of school, our friends separated from loved ones, and our small businesses. have closed.

Companies will continue to do everything possible to help our employees get vaccinated and provide a safe environment for our customers and the community, including prioritizing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, as originally planned.

We call on governments to work together to implement the national plan and chart a way out of the current bottlenecks. Providing a light at the end of the tunnel will encourage more Australians to get vaccinated. We have to give people something to look forward to, something to look forward to, something to plan for and to have confidence in their future.

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