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Reopen state borders now, says Treasurer

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has called for the state borders to be reopened as a crucial part of Australia’s economic recovery.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has called for the state borders to be reopened as a crucial part of Australia's economic recovery.

Mr Frydenberg cited an OECD report showing a grim worldwide economic outlook, but said Australia was in a strong position to bounce back.

"Closed borders cost jobs," he said.

"There is not clear medical reason as to why those domestic borders should be closed."

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg arrives for a press conference about the unemployment rate.

Asked if Canberra would issue carrot or stick incentives for states to reopen borders, Mr Frydenberg did not go into specifics.

"The biggest carrot is jobs," he said.

"We know how important job creation is not just to the prime minister by also those premiers and chief ministers."

Mr Frydenberg dismissed the suggestion of partial border reopenings.

State border closures as of June 4, 2020.

"The states should go the full hog. They should lift those borders immediately."

Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory all have strict state border closures at present.

Only Victoria, NSW and the ACT are open to interstate travel.

Mr Frydenberg said the OECD report showed the world is now going through the deepest recession since the Great Depression.

"The positive news for Australia is that Australia stands out as a leader in the economic recovery," he said.

"The OECD suggests that Australia's economy will contract by five per cent this year and grow by four per cent next year."

He compared it to the likely contractions of other countries: Japan by six per cent, the US by 7.3 per cent, New Zealand by 8.9 per cent and Italy, France and the UK by 11 per cent.

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But a second wave of coronavirus could cause a further downturn in the economy.

Mr Frydenberg said the government would follow the advice of health experts when it comes to allowing international students to return.

International students make up a major part of the Australian economy, and the education sector has been hit hard by their absence.

Source: 9News

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