Rather than recommend a single dominant option for pandemic response in Australia, the authors present and explain two options for the nation’s consideration – elimination or controlled adaptation. Any choice between these two options entails a delicate trade-off between protecting health, supporting the economy and societal well-being. This report also focusses on the impact of the virus and short term recovery. The executive summary provides one ethical framework (page 23; two options for the pandemic response (page 26; 58); three requirements for success in recovery regardless of which path is taken (page 13); and six imperatives in the implementation of the recovery plan (page 17).
The following principles are proposed by the authors to guide the recovery process:
- Whatever measures are implemented to manage COVID-19 must be compatible with a commitment to democratic accountability and the protection of civil liberties.
- Equal access to healthcare and a social safety net must be provided for all members of our community.
- The economic cost must be shared fairly across the whole community.
- Renewal and recovery programs should focus on those most affected first.
- A strong recovery will require a trusted partnership between governments and civil society, including business, community sector, unions, academia and local communities.