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Sydney cannot squander opportunity to rebuild

Last year was one of the most traumatic in living memory, unless you were lucky enough to live in Australia. Without taking anything away from the difficulties people faced here, what Australia experienced was closer to a normal recession than what many other countries experienced.

The success of our government in managing the pandemic, from a public health and economic perspective, means we find ourselves with an opportunity to attract newly mobile global talent and build an even stronger economy than before.

Australia has done well in managing public health and the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Australia has done well in managing public health and the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.Credit:Getty Images

But there are challenges. Australia has been slower to start vaccinating its population, and our borders remain virtually shut, giving competitors a head-start on trade and travel and crushing massive export sectors such as tourism, business travel and higher education. As in all recessions, some jobs will not come back – and with JobKeeper set to end, many face hunger and homelessness.

To make the most of our opportunity, we need to prioritise the actions that will help Australia recover and build, which is what the Committee for Sydney’s members from business, government and cultural institutions have done in our second COVID-19 Recovery Strategy, issued today.

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