State border closures cost Australia around 5,000 jobs a week and $84 million a day, new modelling has revealed.
Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory all currently have their state and territory borders closed as governments attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
But according to analysis by Lucid Economics for the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC), the closures are costing Australia thousands of jobs and millions of dollars.
“Some 5,000 jobs have been [lost] a week on this. This is why I've been pushing this state so hard and, this is why borders should be opened up,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told 2GB on Thursday.
“There's never been any advice which says they should be closed. And that's why this is so frustrating.”
Queensland has been hit hardest by the state closures. The Sunshine State has lost 173 direct and indirect jobs every day since late March and $147 million in economic activity, The Australian reported.
New South Wales is losing 165 jobs a day, while Victoria is losing 168 a day. South Australia is shedding 53, Western Australia 48 and Tasmania is losing 51 a day.
The Northern Territory is losing 20 a day and the Australian Capital Territory is losing 27.
ATIC executive director Simon Westaway called for all Australian borders to reopen in July. So far, Queensland has flagged a reopening date of 10 July while Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Western Australia have yet to reveal when they will open borders.
South Australia will let travellers from the Northern Territory, Tasmania and Western Australia enter the state without being quarantined for 14 days, drawing the frustration of both NSW and Victorian governments.
Trade Minister Simon Birmingham on Wednesday confirmed international travel was likely on hold until 2021 and urged Australians to travel domestically.