The federal government won't walk away from economic support when vaccine targets are met, Finance Minister Simon Birmingham says.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and state and territory leaders have agreed to begin to remove some COVID-19 restrictions when they reach a 70 per cent full vaccination rate, and all-but end lockdowns at an 80 per cent rate.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg last week said states could not expect the Commonwealth's emergency economic support to continue at the scale it is now, as the vaccination program ramps up.
Senator Birmingham said the government would always seek to provide certainty.
"Australians should know that we are not about to walk away from them," he told the ABC.
"But we also want the states and territories to uphold their end of the bargain ... that there is a dividend for being vaccinated."
Some economists have put the cost of the current lockdowns across NSW, the ACT and Victoria at $25 billion.
One in five NSW businesses in a recent survey said they only had cashflow to survive a month.
The federal government on Wednesday announced a program offering loans of up to $5 million for small and medium-sized businesses with a turnover of less than $250 million.
CBA's Mike Vacy-Lyle said the program had a lot of merit.
"The impacts of the pandemic are widespread and diverse across businesses and industry sectors," he said.
"Many require access to credit to help them through this period, and the expansion of (the scheme) is an excellent initiative to ensure that more businesses will be able to access business lending at low rates and on flexible terms."
Australian Associated Press