The Property Council of Australia has welcomed the announcement of Queensland’s Covid Vaccine Plan as an important step in the state’s recovery from the pandemic.
Jen Williams, Queensland Executive Director of the council, said that with Brisbane’s CBD office vacancies being 50 percent higher than pre-Covid levels, the re-opening benchmark announced by the State Government would provide a much-needed injection of confidence.
CBD businesses, retailers and tourism operators could now plan for the Festive Season and beyond, she said.
Plan will provide the certainty everyone needs
“Today’s release of the Covid Vaccine Plan provides the certainty that industry and the community have been calling for,” Williams stated.
“Queensland has been fortunate to avoid the extended lockdowns experienced in other states. However, there is no doubt that ongoing social distancing and health restrictions, along with the ever-present threat of lockdowns, have impacted confidence across many sectors.
“The CBD – the epicentre of the state’s social, economic and cultural institutions – has been particularly hard hit by forced and voluntary work from home. Having a plan for when mask wearing will be minimised and lockdowns will end removes some of the barriers to a full return to the office.”
Boost for hospitality and entertainment sectors
Williams added: “The Vaccine Plan will not only allow for greater people flows across the border. The proposed removal of health restrictions for venues requiring all staff and patrons to be vaccinated will be music to the ears of many arts, entertainment and hospitality businesses who have been doing it tough throughout the pandemic.”
She believed that, despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, the Queensland economy remained in an enviable position. Interstate migration continued to be strong, planning was now underway for the Brisbane 2032 Games, and investor interest in the state had returned.
“To make the most of the opportunities ahead, it is now incumbent upon us all to get back to the CBD and help support our local businesses in the lead up to what we hope will be a bumper Festive Season,” Williams said.