The Prime Minister said the extended lockdown in Victoria would reduce gross domestic product by between $7 billion and $9 billion in the September quarter.
The total hit to GDP from the coronavirus is now forecast to be $12 billion.
“This is a heavy blow, a heavy blow,” he said.
“80% of this economic cost is expected to be in the affected areas of Victoria, of around $6 billion to $7 billion in that state.
What Greg Sheridan has to say:
COVID-19 has accelerated the dominance of a type of political leader uniquely evolved to look the part, but who delivers consistently terrible results – in Frodo Baggins’s terms, who looks fair but delivers foul.
In Australia, the pre-eminent case is Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, whose purely political skills are unmatched among premiers, but whose government has delivered continuously shocking results in the pandemic, and generally. This is not to question Andrews’s motives or work ethic. He is plainly doing his best. But he and his political culture have failed.
Andrews fits the Cuomo/Sturgeon paradigm of the woke, earnest, ideologically perfect left liberal leader who cannot make the trains run, much less run on time, but who gains the plaudits of the dominant PC parts of the media, who projects a reassuring image while avoiding real scrutiny. Victoria has this crisis because of his government’s staggering incompetence. At the same time Andrews has avoided effective scrutiny and accountability by more or less abolishing democracy in Victoria.
The list of failures by the government includes (but is not exhausted by): catastrophic failure to manage quarantine hotels; an anaemic, poor contact tracing until this latest crisis; resisting federal help when the Victorian arms of the bureaucracy plainly couldn’t do the job; not issuing any fines at the Black Lives Matter demonstration, thus tacitly endorsing a huge event that broke social distancing restrictions and undermined the message; not naming Cedar Meats and thus not getting all its casual contacts to test; and even today, an opaque, slow approach to releasing data that would allow proper scrutiny of the government’s performance.
Further, under Andrews, all the mechanisms of democratic accountability have virtually disappeared. Labor has been in office in Melbourne for 18 of the past 21 years. It has permeated the bureaucracy and state agencies with ideological fellow travellers and political mates. It is the most ideologically left government in Australia; from Safe Schools to refusing to allow any gas exploration (recently, and belatedly, reversed) to refusing to say it respected the High Court decision to acquit Cardinal George Pell. It is great at discerning the oppression of the hetero-normative, patriarchal, global warming social order. It is not so good at running schools.
It is not often that I find myself agreeing with almost every word Greg Sheridan says. But he is on the money here.
This line is very scary:
His insistence that parliament should not sit is unambiguously a disgrace. The Chief Health Officer recommended against parliament sitting but that is because the government did not define it as an essential function.
Democracy and parliamentary representation is not an essential function. So all those people who carry on that we libertarians are hysterical conspiracy theorists – well, here we are.
Update: Further proof that democracy and parliamentary representation is not an essential function.
BREAKING: Because of a State Government oversight, it has been unlawful for any MP or their staff to work in their office in Victoria.
— James Newbury MP (@newbury3186) August 6, 2020