Border closures bleed $319m a day in lost revenue

The international and national border closures are costing the nation $319 million a day.

A new report by EY commissioned by the Business Council of Australia (BCA) shows that the coronavirus restrictions have resulted in $17 billion in aviation losses domestically and $61 billion internationally in the past seven months.

Passenger numbers between Sydney and Melbourne dropped 91 per cent, equating to a $3.1 billion hit, the NSW route to Brisbane has copped a $1.2 billion loss and the route to Canberra has seen lost business of $303 million since March.

BCA chief executive Jennifer Westacott has called for the National Cabinet to announce a plan for domestic travel before December.

“The safety of Australians remains our number one priority but states like NSW have put robust systems in place to manage this virus, so people can safely and freely get on with their lives,” she told The Daily Telegraph.

“We are not asking for a free for all — we need a highly-targeted, careful and gradual reopening of the economy based on health advice with robust nationally consistent systems in place for departures and arrivals, quarantining, local containment, and digital tracking and tracing.”

The EY analysis found the impact of international border closures “cannot be replaced by other sectors”.

“Safe travel corridors with other low-risk countries who have also managed the virus well would generate $20.5 billion for Australia over a 12-month period,” she said.

“We support National Cabinet adopting a strategy for increasing international travel based on a strategy to gradually and safely re-open borders.”