Property Australia

The big shift begins

Ken Morrison Ken Morrison September 28, 2021

The locked-down section of Australia now has clarity about how its people and economies will transition to a new normal of ‘living with COVID-19’.

Welcome reopening frameworks announced by the Victorian, NSW and ACT governments over the past week mean the big shift is about to begin.

While details differ by jurisdiction, October, November and December will be transition months. People will increasingly be able to gather and mix – in their homes, in recreational and retail venues and in their workplaces.

The vaccinated will lead the charge. Initially public health orders will create a clear dividing line between what the vaccinated and unvaccinated are allowed to do. But this mandated framework seems set to disappear over time, leaving business to make its own calls on how it will run their operations.

Vaccines have been the gamechanger. As we’ll see in tomorrow’s ANZ / Property Council survey, vaccines are providing the industry with confidence to look through the current delta outbreaks. With double-dose vaccination rates seemingly set to climb above 90% in many states, there’s every reason to be confident.

However, the transition of the locked-down jurisdictions is only one part of the big shift.

The COVID-free states also need to chart a pathway to reconnect with the rest of the country in accordance with the National Cabinet four-phase plan.

This transition represents a different challenge for these jurisdictions and cannot occur until they have vaccination levels at the targeted levels. It’s also natural for these premiers to want to watch the experience of NSW, Victoria and ACT very closely.

But it is a transition that must occur. The first step is to have a transition plan in place for their citizens and business communities to work to. It’s time for these governments to provide this clarity.

Policy makers have had an unenviable task over the past 18 months as they grappled with the rolling challenges of COVID-19. The Property Council has proactively worked as the industry’s advocate, seeking to strike the appropriate balance between the economic and health challenges facing our communities.

There will be challenges for the property industry as we pass through this transition period, not least of which will be navigating a successful return to work for their staff.

The Property Council will continue to be here for our members as we begin the big shift towards the ‘new normal.’