The Australian Business Council (BCA) has called on state and federal governments to adopt a smarter, nationally consistent approach to blockades, and the 100-day limit at current levels has depressed the economy. Not only to drive into Australia’s mental health and social cohesion.
The call from Peakbody, the country’s largest employer, came shortly after the latest snap lockdowns in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, after BCA commissioned modeling by Ernst & Young (EY). To do. It is processed in a targeted and predictable way.
Lockdown costs in Australia are $ 2.8 billion ($ 2 billion) per week, and the Great Sydney limit is $ 257 million (190 million) per day, according to EY’s analysis. It accounts for two-thirds of the cost (dollars). Partial resumption of construction in the city also reduced the impact on the city’s closed economy by $ 250 million (US $ 185 million) and lost $ 500 million per week (370 million US dollars). It also suggests that it will decrease to (US $).
Jennifer Westacott, CEO of the Business Council, said Australia needs to move from snap lockdown to smart lockdown. This minimizes huge economic and social costs.
“Our economy is not bulletproof. Limitations are also damaging the mental health and well-being of Australians,” she said. statement July 27th. “Smarter blockades can reduce both financial and human costs.”
The changes proposed in the “Smarter Virus Management” report will trigger, enforce, and eventually lift limits to reduce community and business disruption, uncertainty, and anxiety. It also includes a consistent approach and predictability of the method.
The report also suggests that the blockade should be confined to the affected areas and that the government should provide milestones around the blockade phase to remove the daily guessing game of rules and decisions. is doing.
He also discussed a discussion of which companies could stay in business and who could go to work, emphasizing that “there is a difference between a five-week and a five-day shutdown.”
The blockade also had a major impact on people’s mental health.
According to statistics from the National Suicide Prevention Charity Parents Beyond Breakup (PBB), requests for support from organizations in June increased by 30% compared to the same period last year.
Gillian Hunt, CEO of PBB, said most callers have expressed increased distress primarily related to blockades and the effects of COVID-19 on mental health, with about 40% of the increased phone calls being new. He said it came from a non-custodial parent in South Wales.
“When the blockade in Melbourne first began, we saw a similar trend. Our call volume increased significantly for most of the ones from Victoria,” she said. Statement (PDF) July 5th.
The BCA also offers expanded and prompt financial support from the government to all affected households and businesses. This includes more funding for the aviation and tourism sector.
The report came just one day before New South Wales Prime Minister Gladys Berejikrian announced that he would extend the blockade of Sydney for at least another four weeks until August 28, and people’s movements were increasingly restricted. Was there.
A long and severe blockade in Sydney further obscures the country’s recovery outlook, with ANZ Bank forecasting a 1.3% economic contraction in the September quarter and Commonwealth Bank forecasting a 2.7% contraction after the announcement. increase. Both expect the blockade to be extended beyond September.
Both the federal and state governments have announced that they will expand and expand their COVID-19 business support payments to cover an additional 1,900 companies that employ approximately 300,000 workers. This costs taxpayers more than $ 1 billion per week.
However, while the BCA welcomed the upgraded financial support as “appropriate, expanding and timely for both individuals and businesses,” some economists are concerned about the long-term implications. increase.
Gigi Foster, a professor of economics at the University of New South Wales, said the long-term increase in government distributions would only “stop the blockade’s self-harm.”
“It’s like constantly injecting snake venom and a partially effective antidote into yourself at the same time,” she said in an email on July 27 when asked if she would support the resurrection of the jobkeeper. I told the Epoch Times.
“Continuous government support does more than just step on the water to show it and build up more debt. But instead of contributing to society and rewarding it, people It’s even more customary to sit home and receive government handouts, “she said.
She criticized the blockade as “a strict measure taken in the name of COVID” and said the public should strongly push for wiser and welfare-supporting policies.
“We need to refocus on the protection, prevention, and treatment of those who are most vulnerable to the serious symptoms of the disease, so that everyone else can return to normal life.”