Big mistakes in failing to open to the world says Australian business

Australia’s Corporations Rebel Against Government’s Draconian COVID Lockdowns is from Zero Hedge in the US reporting on a story published by the Financial Times in London. It may be in the local press, but I haven’t come across it here. Still, an important story, you would think.

In the letter – which was reported on by the FT – the signatories allege that Australia is making “big mistakes” in failing to reopen to the world. By making the lockdowns so severe (and so unceasingly long), the Australian government is putting politics before the well-being of the Australian people ahead of the federal elections that must be held by the end of May – when the Senate’s present term is slated to expire.

The companies that signed the letter “…employ almost one million Australians” and warned that lockdowns were having “long-lasting” effects on the economy. However, this shouldn’t be news to Australia’s political elite: Economists at Australia’s central bank, the RBA, already lowered their growth projections after a stronger-than-expected Q2 GDP print.

But all the incremental data seen so far suggests that Q3 could be a disaster – well that, coupled with the intensifying economic pressure from Beijing, which is trying to win a geopolitical stare-down contest with the Australian government by blocking a growing number of imports.

As for Australia’s infamous “drawbridge” border policy, the letter’s signatories insisted that the decision to close Australia’s borders was a colossal mistake. 

“The borders should have never been closed,” Graham Turner, chief executive of travel company Flight Centre, told the Financial Times. “We’re making some very big mistakes here.”

“It’s time for corporate Australia to turn its disquiet and rumblings into a roar,” said Greg O’Neill, the chief executive of Melbourne fund manager La Trobe Financial, one of the signatories to the open letter sent by the Business Council of Australia. “It is time for courage and honesty. Not politics.”

Politics is politics. But courage and honesty would be nice for a change.

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