Adelaide supermarkets warn against panic buying as stores record increased demand


A South Australian supermarket chain has re-introduced a two-pack limit on toilet paper and Coles is also reporting a surge in demand across its Adelaide stores.

Photos posted to social media showed empty shelves at grocery stores in some Adelaide suburbs.

But retailers are urging against a return to panic buying, reassuring customers there is plenty of stock for everyone.

Coles’ general manager for South Australia and Northern Territory, Sophie Wong, said stores “across the board” had seen an increase in customers stocking up on items similar to those they bought in bulk in March.

“We have definitely seen an elevated demand from our customers this week,” Ms Wong said.

“Whereby we’ve had a lot more customers coming through, and our basket sizes are definitely growing, reflecting an increased demand for products such as mince and toilet paper, body wash, hand towel — similar to what we saw last time.”

Coles’ general manager for SA and NT, Sophie Wong, said stores had seen “elevated demand”.(ABC News)

While Ms Wong said she understood the rush to stock up on groceries was “a natural response to what’s happening”, she urged people not to buy more than they needed.

“Please don’t panic. There’s enough stock to go around and if everyone does the right thing and just buys what they need, we will be just fine,” she said.

“We’re managing our stock levels very well at the moment.

“We’re constantly working with our suppliers. Our distribution centre is working around the clock to make sure that we’ve got enough supply for our customers.”

SA supermarket chain reintroduces toilet paper limit

Ms Wong said Coles stores were not seeing shelves as bare as they were earlier in the year and they had not introduced limits on items — yet.

“Ultimately it will come down to ensuring that we’ve got enough supply to meet demand from the customers,” she said.

A Woolworths spokesperson said the company has noticed a few stores “with higher than usual demand in some parts of Adelaide, but not anywhere near previous demand levels”.

Empty shelves of toilet paper at a supermarket
Customers are leaving some shelves at Adelaide supermarkets empty.(ABC News: Caroline Winter)

“We’ll keep a close eye on demand over the coming days and we continue to ask customers to buy only what they need,” the spokesperson said.

“We have good levels of stock flowing through our distribution centres and into South Australian stores.”

But South Australian-owned Drakes Supermarkets announced it would reinstate a two-pack limit on toilet paper, after noticing shoppers buying more than necessary.

In April, an Adelaide man who was hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitiser tried to return $10,000 worth of products to a Drakes store.

Drakes Supermarkets director John-Paul Drake said the shopper had bought the goods with the help of a “team” of stockpilers when panic buying surged in March.

“In that conversation [the shopper said] ‘my eBay site has been shut down, so we couldn’t profiteer off that’,” Mr Drake told ABC Radio Adelaide.

“He had a team of people that were buying products … 20 [people], I was told.”

The man was refused a refund.



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German leaders warn of coronavirus resurgence, condemn protest – POLITICO



German politicians warned Sunday of a coronavirus resurgence and called for vigilance after thousands of people, defying calls to wear masks and take other precautions, protested in Berlin against measures to curb the pandemic’s spread.

Markus Söder, the premier of the regional state of Bavaria and a potential candidate to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel, warned on Twitter that “we have to expect that corona will come back again with full force. I am very worried about the rising case numbers in Germany. Total alertness is needed, and that’s why now is not the time for easing restrictions or naive carelessness.”

He also expressed skepticism about launching the German Bundesliga football league without any restrictions.  “Ghost games, yes, but I find stadiums with 25,000 spectators difficult to imagine. That would be the wrong signal,” he said.

In a separate interview with the Sunday edition of the Bild newspaper, he warned that the virus “would remain a constant challenge which will keep us permanently under pressure.”

Germany has won international praise for its handling of the pandemic and the country has been hit less hard than other European nations such as Italy, Spain and France. But the Robert Koch Institute, the government’s main biomedical body, warned last week that the number of reported cases has been rising since the beginning of July.

Söder’s concerns were echoed by Saskia Esken, co-leader of the Social Democrats, Merkel’s junior coalition partners. In an interview with newspaper Der Tagespiegel, Esken, said she “simply saw the realistic danger of a second wave,” cautioning that a return to pre-pandemic habits could undermine the fight against the virus.

On Saturday, Esken lashed out at the protesters in Berlin, thundering on Twitter: “Thousands of Covidiots are celebrating themselves as ‘the second wave,’ without distancing, without masks. They are putting at risk not only our health, but our successes against the pandemic, to revive the economy, education and society. Irresponsible!”

Health Minister Jens Spahn also chimed in. “Yes, demonstrations should be possible in Corona times. But not like this. Distancing, hygiene rules and facemasks are meant to protect us all,” he said. On Friday, he raised the alarm about rising infection numbers and called on holiday returnees to get tested to prevent the spread of the virus.

Anja Karliczek, Germany’s education minister, on Sunday called for requiring students to wear masks inside schools when they return to classrooms in the fall.

It’s “comprehensible when [regional] states want to forgo the social distancing rules at schools because the spatial conditions would only allow limited in-person classes,” Karliczek told the Sunday edition of daily Welt.

“However, in-person classes will only work when additional hygiene regulations and rules for wearing masks and social distancing in schoolyards and corridors are strictly observed,” she said.

The states of Berlin, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg have already introduced such requirements. In Germany, education policy is primarily the responsibility of regional states.

Police said some 17,000 people took part in Saturday’s demonstration in Berlin, organized to protest government-enforced restrictions. The gathering was organized with the title “The end of the pandemic — day of freedom.” Some participants claimed the virus was “the biggest conspiracy theory,” according to media reports.

Olaf Sundermeyer, an expert on the far right, cautioned that many people don’t believe that the coronavirus exists. Speaking to German broadcaster ARD, he said that protesters believed the pandemic would be an invention to subdue the people: “Many say they are being systematically lied to.”





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Iran’s stock market surges past key level to record high, as analysts warn of bubble



FILE PHOTO: A woman looks at an electronic board showing stock prices, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Tehran Stock Exchange in Tehran, Iran, May 12, 2020. WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Ali Khara via REUTERS

August 2, 2020

DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran’s main stock index broke through the key 2 million point mark for the first time ever on Sunday, state media reported, amid warnings that the market is overheating.

The Tehran Stock Exchange’s benchmark TEDPIX index gained 46,844 points in early trading, the official IRNA news agency said, up 2.4%.

The index closed at 1,961,649 on Saturday after surging by over 57,325 points, or 3.01%, on the day, according to the Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) website.

Iran’s clerical rulers have been encouraging ordinary Iranians to invest in local stocks to boost the country’s economy, which has been hard hit by the reimposition of U.S. sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear programme.

Analysts and some lawmakers, however, have warned that the move might raise the risk of a stock market bubble as the rising market is at odds with Iran’s deteriorating economic fundamentals, which are also feeling the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Iranian authorities have denied that there is a bubble in the country’s stock market.

(Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Susan Fenton)





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Cider gums under threat from fire, foraging and global warming, conservationists warn


In the coldest state of Australia, the most frost-tolerant eucalypt in the world is under threat.

Located in the Central Highlands, the Tasmanian cider gum has a rich history and is of cultural importance to the local Indigenous community.

The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre’s Andry Sculthorpe said there needed to be a focus on saving the much-loved gum.

“They carry with them an importance for our cultural heritage and with the living trees, the survival of those species is super important, but also there are the remains of the activities of Aboriginal people who tapped those trees,” he said.

Eve Lazarus is one of many concerned for the future of the trees.(ABC News: April McLennan)

Eve Lazarus from the Derwent Catchment Group described the gums as an icon for the central highlands.

“They produce this cider, this sweet sap that ferments naturally with the yeast in the air and we get this semi-alcoholic beverage which the Tasmanian Aboriginal people used to seek out as a resource when it was running in the warmer months,” she said.

“When you’re out and you’re walking around the trees and it’s hot and you get this amazing smell of fermentation like you’re at a cider bar, except you happen to be in the middle of the bush.”

Dead cider gum trees.
Even dead cider gum trees are striking in their form.(ABC News: April McLennan)

Graveyard of trees

The trees are in decline due to a combination of global warming, insects and animal attacks.

In fact, a graveyard of the gums lining a road in the Central Highlands has become a tourist attraction.

“Even in death, as they stretch out their pale limbs towards the sky, they cast a very eerie silhouette across the landscape that people are quite fond of,” Ms Lazarus said.

But now bushfires are posing a threat to the species, with the Great Pine Tier blaze that burned through the area in 2019 ravaging some of the gums.

Joe Quarmby at a cider gum tree plantation.
Joe Quarmby says after recent fires, many of the burnt cider gum trees unexpectedly dropped seeds.(ABC News: April McLennan)

The Tasmanian Land Conservancy’s Joe Quarmby said they were concerned the trees affected by fire would not recover.

“We came out after the fire and found that most of the large trees had not re-sprouted, so had potentially died and there wasn’t much sign of re-generation,” he said.

“That caused us to look at caging around the base of the trees to hopefully get some regeneration from the plants that were left and hopefully if there was some seed regeneration, that the cages would protect those seedlings.”

A cage in a cider gum plantation, used to protect new growth from feeding animals.
A cage in a cider gum plantation, used to protect new growth from feeding animals.(ABC News: April McLennan)

A TLC volunteer group installed 34 cages to protect the plants and found them to be effective, with minimal browsing inside the cages.

“The animals come back in after the fire, they’re very hungry and these guys are first on the menu,” Ms Lazarus said.

“They are like sugar to children for all of our browsing animals.

Bushfire plume from a Tasmanian fire near Federation Peak
The bushfires of 2019 destroyed large areas of forest and wilderness areas in Tasmania.(Supplied: Mark Holdsworth)

New life

The TLC discovered a mass “recruitment”, with new seedlings sprouting both inside and outside the cages.

“With cider gums they flower episodically, so maybe every five to 10 years you might see flowering,” Mr Quarmby said.

“And from that flowering, they only produce a small amount of gum nuts, so seed within the gum nuts.”

Close up of hand with cider gum nuts.
Joe Quarmby says a “huge opportunity” exists if the seedlings can be protected.(ABC News: April McLennan)

After the recent fires, many of the burnt cider gum trees unexpectedly dropped seeds.

Mr Quarmby believes the trees must have flowered last season or two seasons before, for such a large recruitment event to occur.

“I’ve never seen it and it’s something I don’t think has been recorded or observed for this species ever before, so it’s a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence,” he said.

“It provides a huge opportunity for the conservation of the species if we can get in and protect the seedlings.”

Flames burn on the ground in the Tasmanian wilderness
Andry Sculthorpe says “cultural burn” methods could mitigate against wildfires and escaped burn-offs.(ABC News)

Fire future

A conservation area was established on the Central Plateau in 1978 and a few years later it became a World Heritage Area.

That has meant fewer burn-offs in the region, which some believe has increased the risk of bushfires taking off and spreading to farm land and reserves.

While the trees are now on the road to recovery, another big fire could lead to extinction.

“In a traditional way, a cultural burn would be a lot more sensitive and cooler burn in those landscapes, which would mitigate against wildfires and escaped burn-offs,” Mr Sculthorpe said.

“The loss of the cider gum would mean the loss of a cultural practice, it’d mean the loss of a species that is recorded within our history and losing that is a tragedy.”



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Tate galleries are set to reopen after five months of closure but warn recovery “will take years not months” for the arts sector


“It will take years not months” for the arts sector to recover from the effects of Covid 19: that’s according to Maria Balshaw, who’s director of the Britain’s biggest arts complex. The Tate  – like many other museums and galleries – will reopen on Monday after five and a half months of closure.

But emerging from lockdown requires huge changes to protect those who visit and work in the arts – as Jon Snow has been finding out.



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Mental health challenges for athletes are being exacerbated by coronavirus, experts warn


By any score, it is really been a tragic 7 days for Australian activity.

Two younger Australians have died in the aftermath of their athletic careers: 20-yr-old Olympic determine skater Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya and 38-12 months-previous former Richmond AFL footballer Shane Tuck.

We will not know what occurred and we won’t be able to assume. There are no straightforward answers.

It is really just unspeakably sad.

But their deaths have highlighted yet once again that athletes are no distinct to everyone who suffers from mental wellbeing challenges.

Specialists say that in some ways they can be extra susceptible, as they depart a rigidly structured job for the chaos of “authentic daily life”.

And in the situation of Shane Tuck, we continue to have some way to go to make it possible for challenging Australian males to be vulnerable.

Tuck’s father, the legendary Hawthorn player Michael, spoke eloquently about the struggles his son faced.

“He stored it all in”, he stated.

“He was a large, robust kid and he just had a several issues and he could not get rid of them and that was the only way out.

“A large amount of adult males feel they’re all ideal and they are in fact not, and the greatest help they can get is telling men and women really how negative they are, and not indicating, ‘I’m all appropriate, I am all right’.”

Encouraging athletes navigate that changeover has develop into the lifestyle work of Irish Olympic rower Gearoid Towey, who now heads the organisation Crossing the Line.

“Just before, the narrative was that there is just not enough guidance, but I you should not consider that can be said any more — there is an terrible lot of help out there now,” said Towey.

Irish Olympic rower Gearoid Towey founded the Crossing the Line organisation to support athletes transition to everyday living just after activity.(ABC News: David Mark)

Functionality psychologist Caroline Anderson is one particular of the psychological health professionals administering that enable.

She counsels many sportspeople, which include previous AFL footballers, and agrees it can be hard for them to search for aid.

“They’re utilised to getting extremely productive, perfectly-recognised athletes in the media highlight, extremely driven,” Anderson explained.

“There is a whole lot on supply now, but it will not mean that an person, if they’re really severely struggling from a psychological well being ailment, they may well not have the insight or the capability … to check with for support,” she claimed.

Towey thinks some athletes look for to suppress mental well being troubles by their commitment to education.

“But when activity stops, that self-treatment also stops.”

Pandemic uncertainty adds anxiety to the blend

Throw into this blend the uncertainty about the coronavirus pandemic, and there is a recipe for difficulty. 

“Much more and much more challenges have shown up and the uncertainty and the continually-shifting atmosphere has absolutely had its impacts this time close to, especially with Victorian athletes that I am doing the job with.

“These are extremely prosperous, very pushed individuals — but then coronavirus will come along and that’s taken absent and they are not applied to sitting down at dwelling going ‘hmm, possibly I really should do some knitting’.”

Towey suggests sporting clubs and governing bodies require to start out wondering about such as psychological health and fitness products and services as section of their higher-effectiveness mix.

“It ought to engage in the identical part as physiotherapy, physiology — all those matters that they shell out so a great deal funds on,” explained Towey.

“It is just common perception that someone who is happier in by themselves is going to carry out superior.”

And it truly is hoped the assistance athletes get though they are competing will also equip them to offer with the pressures of day-to-day lifestyle, after their professions are above.

“It’s all about repackaging them and building absolutely sure their capabilities as sportspeople are helpful in the outside the house earth,” claimed Towey.

“They’re transferring into a more difficult earth now.”



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Public servants’ pay deal will add to state’s finance challenge, credit agencies warn


But Victoria’s approach to public sector pay is sharply at odds with that of the NSW Liberal government which is battling in the Fair Work Commission to impose a freeze on the wages of its entire 250,000-strong public sector.

Western Australia’s Labor government moved last year, long before the COVID-19 crisis hit, to impose a $1000 cap on annual pay rises for its public servants.

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Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas says the government’s pay deals are in line with its bargaining policies disallowing pay rises above 2 per cent without productivity or other concessions from the workforce.

The Treasurer also says the deals with police, paramedics, nurses and public servants are all fully funded and paid from the existing budgets of the departments or agencies employing the workers.

But the major credit rating agencies, S&P and Moodys, which both have Victoria on the highest possible AAA credit rating, expressed concern on Wednesday.

Credit ratings are important to governments because they determine the rates at which treasuries can borrow money on the international bond markets, with a strong rating allowing cheaper debt.

S&P Global Rating analyst Rebecca Hrvatin said: “Victoria’s wage policies are more relaxed than most domestic peers and have allowed employee expenses to rise rapidly.”

“Total employee expenses are about 29 per cent higher than just four years ago,” Ms Hrvatin said.

“We believe public sector employee expenses are inflexible during periods of financial stress, and adding further downward pressure to the state’s AAA rating.”

John Manning, vice president of Moody’s Investors Service, said he believed that rising public sector wage costs would make it harder to repair the state’s post-COVID finances.

“It will just add additional challenges as far as bringing back that fiscal consolidation,” Mr Manning said.

“It’s a challenging environment and we expect not only revenue pressures but also expenditure pressures as a result of the disruption we’re already facing,”

Premier Daniel Andrews said on Wednesday that his government’s economic management could be judged when it brings down its budget in October.

“We’ll deliver a budget at the end of the year and the accounts of the state will be there, clearly understood by everybody at that point,” the Premier said.

Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien called the pay rises “tone deaf” as Victorian businesses suffer financial hardship and job losses due to the pandemic.

“It’s a bit tone deaf of the Premier to be giving big pay rises to public sector unions when so many other Victorians are doing it tough,” Mr O’Brien said.

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Too soon to know if coronavirus is already spreading in WA, doctors warn


West Australians are urged to be humbler about the state’s low COVID-19 infection rate, with doctors warning that recent interstate travellers may have already spread the virus in WA.

The Australian Medical Association’s outspoken WA president, Andrew Miller, said it was too soon to know for sure.

“Our biggest vulnerability is the incubation period of the people who’ve arrived here from interstate in the last month or so,” he said.

“Because it may well be that someone is asymptomatically getting about their business, thinking they’re fine when in fact they got in just before the cut-off for quarantine and they could be spreading the virus already.

“I think that the West Australian community needs to hold its breath while we find out if we have had community spread from Victoria or New South Wales.

“We need to just be a bit humble about this because Western Australia’s no different to anywhere else, we will get community outbreaks that are very difficult to control if people have already spread this virus in our community.”

Andrew Miller says WA doesn’t know for sure if there has been any community spread of COVID-19.(ABC News: Eliza Borrello)

Dr Miller welcomed the State Government’s tougher quarantine measures and said Victoria’s rising infection rate was cause for increased worry.

Until now the WA Government has said overseas travellers posed the biggest COVID-19 risk to WA but with Victoria’s infections growing by the day Premier Mark McGowan has now put people returning from that state in the same category.

“I suppose the prospects of the infection coming in from overseas or Victoria is roughly the same, very low prospects but the prospect is still there,” he said.

Truck drivers bringing groceries and medical supplies to WA are one of the few groups of people still allowed to cross the interstate border relatively freely.

But with a freight worker from Melbourne identified as the likely cause of the COVID-19 cluster at the Crossroads Hotel, south west of Sydney, they are likely to be subject to new restrictions.

Dr Miller said the industry was best placed to suggest a tougher but feasible plan.

“It’s not critical of any individual, we just need a system that means that these people are not left to their own devices, to find their own accommodation and can decide to go out to a pub if they want to, which is what caused the problem in south-west Sydney,” he said.

A nurse wearing a face mask holds up needles inside a bag in a fever clinic.
Truck drivers coming into WA could soon face COVID testing.(AAP: Darren England)

WA Premier Mark McGowan yesterday suggested truck drivers would soon have to undergo a COVID-19 test on arrival in the state.

“Truck drivers at the moment are required to wear a mask, when they’re outside their vehicle if they’ve come from interstate,” he said.

“However we’re looking towards a testing regime, for truck drivers when they come into Western Australia, especially from NSW and Victoria.”

Mr McGowan acknowledged testing may not stop truck drivers bringing the virus in, but could help track it.

“If a truck’s coming in you might not get the results back for a couple of days, obviously the truck may have even left the state by the time you get the result back,” he said.

“But at least it lets you know and allows you to contact trace if there was an issue.”

Chair of the Freight and Logistics Council of WA, Nicole Lockwood, said drivers would support testing.

“They want to feel safe and they want to know that they understand the risk profile to them,” she said.

Nicole Lockwood standing in a park.
Nicole Lockwood is confident truck drivers would support COVID testing.(ABC News: Eliza Borrello)

“For us the ability to test through the Medicare system is the critical issue, because of the frequency of testing and the size of the industry.

“There’s a national cabinet meeting Friday, we’re hoping something will come out of that.”

Wade Jolly’s Kenwick-based trucking company, K-Trans, has organised for its east-west drivers to meet halfway at Ceduna, in South Australia and swap trailers there.

A KTrans road train carrying large tyres.
KTrans drivers swap trailers at the South Australian town of Ceduna.(Supplied)

“This minimises the risk of need of human contact with our eastern states teams coming into WA,” he said in a statement.

“We have introduced [a] thorough vehicle cleaning process, including sanitising steering wheels, door handles … before entering and exiting the prime movers at any time.

“Whilst it is a possibility a driver could spread the virus, people should have the comfort that transport companies take our role of essential service to the nation very seriously, and both the companies and truck drivers are actively working diligently to safely provide their services.”

Wade Jolly standing near a truck.
Wade Jolly says transport companies are taking their role as an essential service very seriously.(Supplied)

Ms Lockwood said it was not practical for all companies to swap their vehicle trailers over, like KTrans was doing, before entering WA.

“Not all trucks can do that, certain sorts of trucks do that easily, others don’t,” he said.

“There’s a lot of fragmentation of ownership, there’s a lot of owner drivers who only have one truck, so I think it’s over-simplifying quite a complex industry,” he said.



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As a second coronavirus lockdown looms for NSW, industry leaders warn of economic crisis


When most Australian cities were placed into lockdown earlier this year, the economic impact was swift, wiping about $1.2 billion in revenue from New South Wales retailers in April alone.

Despite a resurgence of the virus on Sydney’s doorstep, authorities are reluctant to send the nation’s busiest capital city back into hiding, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian saying it was simply “an option we don’t want to take”.

Industry leaders agree a second lockdown could have a “massive impact” on the nation’s economy with the potential to cause significant economic damage “in one fell swoop”.

During April and May, about 310,800 businesses registered in NSW applied for JobKeeper, making up more than one-third of applications around the country.

That included more than 1.1 million workers in NSW and 3.5 million nationwide now covered by the program.

National Retail Association chief executive Dominque Lamb said another round of lockdowns could add significantly more pressure.

Dominique Lamb says retailers fear the long-terms impacts of the pandemic.(Supplied: NRA)

“The majority of our head offices sit in New South Wales,” she said.

“We know that there are very large numbers of shopping centres and certainly strip malls throughout New South Wales and of course Victoria as well.

“So it has a massive impact on what happens nationally when we look at those two states — it is incredibly important that we try to secure those economies because ultimately it does impact the entire economy within Australia.

“We are dealing with a health crisis but the economic crisis to follow these events is going to have a very long-term effect on all industry.”

Ms Lamb said at this time of year retailers would usually be preparing to bolster their workforce in the lead-up to Christmas.

“Retailers are saying to us that only 1 per cent of them are looking to put people on at this time and there is significant uncertainty for them — certainly around JobKeeper and their business moving forward and, of course, cuts to JobSeeker, and also what the unemployment rates will mean for discretionary spending.”

Venues hope to remain open

In the suburb of Camden, south-west of Sydney, hotel owner Martin Sinclair is hoping a recent outbreak in neighbouring Campbelltown is quickly brought under control.

A man with short grey hair standing in a hotel bar.
Martin Sinclair’s Royal Hotel in Camden, has made changes to keep patrons safe.(ABC News: Josh Bavas)

Like other venues across the region, his staff at the Royal Hotel have been thankful to finally be back in work and are implementing a raft of changes to make their venue safe.

“No one wants to go back into lockdown,” he said.

“I think with better management, it shouldn’t happen.

“The recent adjustments down from [group bookings of] 20 people to 10 mean we’ve had to come down a little bit further which is fine — just remove some further furniture from the venue.

“We’ve certainly lost a lot of bookings from those groups of 20, but at the end of the day we’re still open and we’re trying to do the best we can for the local area and our clients.”

Work hours bouncing back — for now

While some industries might be bouncing back, fortnightly data compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers and technology company Deputy has found other sectors still struggling to increase working hours for staff.

The joint report looked at rostered hours across 30,000 businesses in New South Wales.

It found rostered hours in hospitality are still down 33 per cent compared with February.

Chief economist at PricewaterhouseCoopers Jeremy Thorpe said another lockdown could impact half of the Australian economy “in one fell swoop”.

A man staring at a camera and smiling.
Economist Jeremy Thorpe says a balanced approach is needed.(Supplied)

“Take hospitality, almost 80 per cent of people who worked irregular hours lost their hours after six weeks,” he said.

“We’ve seen a recovery in that time but still we’re 33 per cent down on the number of hours when compared to February.”

“We’ve already got the Victorians shut down, the real risk is if New South Wales also goes into a significant period [of shutdown] — that’s more than half the Australian economy in one fell swoop,” he said.

“Clearly we’ve got to manage our health crisis first and foremost, but it’s got to have a delicate balancing act from an economic perspective.”

Reduction in rostered hours sector by sector compared with February 14, 2020
April 24, 2020 May 8, 2020 June 5, 2020 June 19, 2020 July 3, 2020
Healthcare -36 per cent -16 per cent -2 per cent -6 per cent 5 per cent
Hospitality -78 per cent -70 per cent -60 per cent -41 per cent -33 per cent
Other services -43 per cent -28 per cent -19 per cent -20 per cent -7 per cent
Retailers -49 per cent -33 per cent -15 per cent -13 per cent -2 per cent

Analysis of rostered hours across 30,000 NSW workplaces. (Data supplied by PricewaterhouseCoopers and technology company Deputy.)

About 95,000 jobs could be at risk

KPMG chief economist Brendan Rynne said about 95,000 jobs in NSW could be directly impacted by a second round of harsh restrictions.

“The best guide to understanding what the cost will be is to really look at what happened during the first lockdown and use that as pretty much a proxy for what we would anticipate to occur,” he said.

“From about the middle of April, employment’s really started to gather some positive momentum upwards.

“Thursday’s ABS [Australian Bureau of Statistics] labour force data showed about 81,000 new jobs were filled in New South Wales in the month alone between May and June.

“Going into a second lockdown is probably going to impact about 95,000 jobs in New South Wales that have come back on [since April], and those 95,000 jobs in fact create about $2.5 billion worth of gross state product each quarter.

“Despite the best intentions of people working from home, there are still many parts of the economy that can’t do that, and so when you actually have to turn the lights off and stop working, economic activity just grinds to a halt.”



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