The Australian Hotels Association was amongst the nation’s 30 key business and industry groups represented at the COVID National Business Partnership meeting in Canberra today.
AHA National CEO Stephen Ferguson said the meeting, chaired by Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, gave hospitality the chance to have real input on the road to recovery.
QANTAS, the Minerals Council of Australia, Wesfarmers, Woolworths were also in attendance in what was described by Mr Frydenberg as a “very productive, constructive meeting”.
“We have about 300,000 Pfizer vaccines coming in each week which will increase to around 600,000 to 700,000 by the end of July and into August and the expectation is around 2 million by October. This is where the involvement of the Australian business community will be so important.
“And today we discussed how we can incorporate an issue such as transport, premises, immunity engagement, as well as communication,” said Mr Frydenberg.
Mr Ferguson said the AHA would now assist in a range of areas including communicating the benefits of vaccination directly with staff and customers as well as the possibility of using hotels in remote areas as future vaccine hubs.
“It is great to have a seat at the table representing our 5,000 members and 250,000 hospitality workforce which has been battling at the economic front-line since the pandemic hit our shores,” Mr Ferguson said.
“The rollout and take up of the vaccine is critical to hospitality, accommodation and tourism being able to open their doors and keep them open.”
Lieutenant-General John Frewen DSC AM, Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly and Mr Frydenberg will work with businesses to facilitate the vaccine rollout and uptake.
“It was a very productive meeting and has opened lines of communication between the Government and the various industry bodies.
“It will ensure peak organisations like the AHA work closely with Government to ensure the vaccine is taken up by as many Australians as possible as soon as possible,” said Mr Ferguson.