Effectively closing Tasmania's borders just as the coronavirus pandemic approached its peak has spared the island state, and its health system, from the crushing pressure seen overseas. It also saved lives.
While the closure in March was arguably one or two weeks too late to prevent outbreaks - in particular the North-West outbreak stemming from the Ruby Princess cruise ship - it was still a forward-thinking, science-based decision made by the state government.
This cautious approach should not be abandoned, particularly in the face of a highly infectious virus that has a high death rate among our most vulnerable.
Setting hard and fast dates for the reopening of borders could be counter-productive, particularly given how transmissible the virus appears to be via air travel, where air droplets are quickly circulated. It might make more sense for mainland states to reopen their borders to land traffic, but air and sea traffic carries greater risk. Public health advice based in Tasmania, not nationally, should be relied upon.
Getting the reopening right is just as crucial as getting the closure right. And as the closure continues, of course our businesses and economy will suffer. But it will suffer far greater if the pandemic spreads again.
The calls to extend JobKeeper make perfect sense as a measure that safeguards the economy during a massive looming recession. The $60 billion discrepancy in JobKeeper is not a "saving" that can simply be banked, it must be allocated. The federal government was proud of the scope and scale of the $130 billion package as a necessary stimulus, but appeared desperate to match the final total with this initial estimate, resulting in an embarrassing outcome.
It proved how easily the government can pull levers to provide much-needed support. It also proved how easily it could help millions of casual and migrant workers, our ailing university and arts sectors, and other areas that were forgotten in the government's first attempt at meaningful stimulus.
Let's not leave ourselves with a broken, unequal country for the sake of an over-simplified argument on government debt.