Confirmation that Australia will stick to the reopening plan for vaccinated skilled workers, students and working holiday makers is the right call to build on our economic momentum, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“This is a critical step to tearing down the fortress Australia mentality that kept us safe during the pandemic but puts a handbrake on our recovery as the rest of the world reopens.
“This will help send the message to the world that Australia is open for new jobs, investment and opportunities.
“Getting critical workers, international students and working holiday makers back in the country will be vital to keep our economic recovery going.
“Crucially, this will help fill the shortfall of over half a million workers that has seen some businesses struggling to keep their doors open and makes it hard to get new projects started.
“You can’t employ hundreds of Australians on a construction job if you don’t have a surveyor and you can’t deliver an infrastructure pipeline without engineers.
“Getting access to the right skills and the right workers will be a major hurdle for our economic recovery.
“To build on our momentum, every state and territory should now be acting to restore peoples’ freedoms, reopen safely and get on with the recovery.
“We can’t risk a situation that sees people free to leave and enter Australia but not move between states.”