Sunday, October 17, 2021

‘It’s Going To Be Tough’: An Australian State Loses More Than $700 Million Per Week As COVID-19 Lockdown Hits Economy Hard

Victoria’s economy has lost more than $700 million (US$508 million) a week since the start of the lockdown, while business and consumer confidence remain low.

It comes as Melbourne claims the world record for the longest lockdown city in the world, overtaking the Argentine capital Buenos Aires for the number of days in lockdown.

“We’re going to get over it,” Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on 3 October.

“We are going to end this lockdown and open up, and everything we enjoy will be the result of all we give.”

But the Premier’s sentiments were not shared by the Australian Industry Group’s chief executive, Ines Willox, who said Victorians fear the sixth lockdown may not end in 3 weeks as promised by the Premier.

“Melbourne is a pretty broken place, and 246 days of lockdown will do that for you – eight months of lockdown in 18 months,” Willox told Sky News.

“The economic devastation is huge – its emotional devastation, it has affected our education, our economy and Melbourne’s resilience – it has been and will continue to be difficult.”

Former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett also criticized the lockdown, saying the city’s longest lockdown title is “nothing to be proud of.”

“[T] There is a huge loss of confidence in Victoria’s leadership here,” Kennett told the Herald Sun.

“What this represents is a great deal of inconvenience, hardship, loss of industry, businesses and major events,” he said.

According to state government data, Victoria’s tourism economy has suffered a massive 50 percent decline, or $12.7 billion, in June 2021 compared to the previous year.

Meanwhile, visitors to and within Victoria fell 33 percent from the year ended June 2020 to 53.7 million in the year ended June 2021 – representing a loss of 26.7 million visitors.

“Melbourne has lost all the characteristics that made it so important to a strong, events-strong culture, education sector Victoria,” Willox told TODAY host Karl Stefanovic.

“Events are really a staple of Melbourne,” he said.

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“Things like this are really important to Melbourne’s situation and sense of well being, and we’ve lost two grand finals.”

On 30 September, the Victorian government and federal treasurer announced a $2.27 billion support package for businesses most affected by the restrictions as Victoria reached 70 percent, then 80 percent, of the state’s plan to fully deliver the national plan. Reached the threshold on the roadmap.

“Our economy has made a strong comeback once restrictions are eased and is well positioned to do so again once the lockdown is lifted,” Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said in a statement.

Melbourne’s lockdown is set to end on 26 October, according to Victoria’s roadmap, when 70 percent of Victorians are fully vaccinated, giving more freedom to fully vaccinated Victorians.

However, Victoria will not be able to match up with the national plan until November 19, when 80 percent of people over the age of 12 will be vaccinated.

“People are at their wits end. They want their kids back in school; they want businesses to reopen,” Friedenberg said.

“They’re getting a record number of jabs because they believe it’s part of the compact with their governments – that when they get the jabs, the restrictions will ease.”

Ernst & Young’s chief economist Joe Masters told News Corp in June that Australia’s vaccination campaign was crucial in limiting the economic impact from the lockdown.

“Locking down is a health decision, but it has economic consequences (but) we know that not tackling the virus is a bad outcome,” Masters said.

Meanwhile, protesters took to the streets of Melbourne on 2 October, following Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ announcement of making vaccinations mandatory for “authorized workers”.

On 4 October, Victoria reported 1377 new cases, with 82 percent of Victorians over the age of 16 receiving their first vaccine dose and 52.1 percent fully vaccinated.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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