Monday, 10 January 2022

A graph showing the world what happens to an economy when a nation allows fundamentalist ideologues to run its pandemic public health response


ANZ graph Week to January 2020 to Week to January 2022
via Laura Tingle, @latingle 7 January 2022

Consumer spending in Sydney, New South Wales is the lowest it has 
ever been over the entire course of the COVID-19 pandemic to date and, 
there is no prize for guessing that what caused this was Australian Prime 
Minister & Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison's favourite three-word 
slogan, 'living with COVID'.

Which he so disastrously urged fellow Liberal & NSW Premier Dominic 
Perrottet to put into high-gear action by further reducing key protective 
elements of the public health response in NSW while at the same time 
opening up the state, then doubling down on dismantling what remained 
in place after the Omicron Variant entered Sydney and began to spread.



ABC News, 6 January 2022:

Escalating COVID-19 cases in New South Wales have not reduced appetite for travel, with tourist hotspots across the state still buzzing with activity.

However, many regional hospitality businesses are missing out on the potential windfall because staff shortages are preventing them from operating at full capacity…..

It's a similar scenario on the state's north coast.

Ballina RSL chief executive Bill Coulter said they had to reduce trading hours due to a lack of staff.

"It's challenging in terms of rostering. We're down about 20 per cent in staffing numbers and have been for quite some time now," Mr Coulter said.

"I think there is ongoing uncertainty about hospitality. When there's a COVID outbreak or issue, then it gets knocked out pretty quickly. And I think people's uncertainty in that space has heightened their anxiousness and they've sought alternative employment."

He said it was a problem across the region.

"We've had visitors in the club in the last week … and they say they just can't get into any business in town because nothing's open."….

Jane Laverty, regional manager of the NSW Business Chamber, said the latest surge in COVID cases had been a huge challenge for regional businesses.

"Our hospitality businesses … did see this as the time that they would be able to claw back some of the losses that they had previously, and they've been looking forward to this holiday period."

She called for government support to be reinstated for businesses across the state.

"We're certainly not back to any level of normal … we're still very much in the grips of COVID pain.

"That support will give the businesses and their employees some level of hope and support and dollars in their accounts during the period of time where we've still got such instability."