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“Governments…Must Engage In Aggressive Deregulation”

Written by
13 May 2020

A daily email by free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs, providing the latest economic data and policy measures for journalists, commentators and IPA members.

Daily IPA comment, attributable to Daniel Wild, Director of Research at the Institute of Public Affairs:

“The Commonwealth government must make it easier for small businesses to re-open and take on more workers by carving them out of the Fair Work Act and developing a separate, less onerous, set of employment regulations.”

“In the COVID recovery, governments at the state and Commonwealth levels must engage in aggressive deregulation by cutting red and green tape, ending environmental legal activism, and removing regulatory duplication between different levels of government.”

“Australia will not be able to sustain a manufacturing base when it has the fourth highest electricity prices in the world. To bring manufacturing and jobs back to Australia, businesses need low electricity costs which means reducing government-imposed restrictions on coal and gas development, ending subsidies for wind and solar power which are expensive and unreliable, and repealing the ban on nuclear power.”

Research prepared by IPA Research Fellows Kurt Wallace and Cian Hussey. 

Latest Changes

Australia

  • 6,964 confirmed cases and 97 deaths. There are 638 active cases and 6,229 recoveries. There are 47 cases in hospital and 16 of those are in intensive care.
  • In the week ending May 10, retail spending increased by 47 per cent compared to the week ending May 3, according to data from Kepler Analytics, indicating that economic activity is increasing as states begin to lift lockdown restrictions. Shopper traffic is still 50 per cent lower than the same time last year, but this is an improvement on three weeks ago when traffic was down 75 per cent. According to data from Commonwealth Bank, spending across a range of categories has increased over the past few weeks.

Source: Australian Financial Review

Workforce paid by the government

65 per cent of the labour force are employed by the Commonwealth and state governments or local councils, receiving the JobSeeker unemployment payment or the JobKeeper wage subsidy:

  • Public sector: 2 million (14.6 per cent of labour force).
  • JobSeeker: 1.4 million (10.6 per cent of labour force).
  • JobKeeper: 5.5 million (40.1 per cent of labour force).
  • Total: 8.9 million (65 per cent of labour force).
  • Labour force: 13.7 million.

Schools

  • New South Wales – Public and Catholic schools will return to face-to-face classes one day a week (year 12 students will return to as many classes as the school can provide). The Berejiklian government will monitor for two weeks before bringing classes back full-time. Independent schools are making their own decisions.
  • Victoria – A staggered return to classrooms will begin on May 26, with prep, grades one and two, and years 11 and 12 returning. Students in years three to 10 will return on June 9.
  • Queensland – From May 11 kindergarten, prep and years 1, 11 and 12 return. Remaining students planned to return from May 25.
  • Western Australia – Face-to-face teaching in place for all students, but attendance is optional until May 18.
  • South Australia – Schools reopened and students encouraged to attend.
  • Tasmania – Home-learning still in place, but schools open for parents who are unable to supervise their children.
  • Northern Territory – Returned to classrooms on April 20.
  • ACT – Plan to return during term 2. Primary school children, and year 7 and 12 students will return first.

Plans to lift restrictions

NSW

Stage 1

  • Begins on 15 May.
  • Home gatherings limited to a maximum of five visitors from seperate households.
  • Gathering limit increased to 10 people for outdoor activities.
  • Weddings limited to 10 guests.
  • Funerals allowed 20 people indoors and 30 people outdoors.
  • Religious gatherings limited to 10 people.

Victoria

Stage 1

  • Begins on 13 May.
  • Home gatherings limited to a maximum of five visitors from seperate households.
  • Gathering limit increased to 10 people for outdoor activities, and religious gatherings.
  • Weddings will be limited to 10 people plus the couple and celebrant.
  • Funerals allowed 20 people indoors and 30 people outdoors.
  • Food and drink businesses remain limited to takeaway and home delivery.

Queensland

Stage 1

  • Begins on 15 May.
  • Home gatherings limited to a maximum of five visitors from seperate households.
  • Gatherings allowed for up to 10 people for most outdoor non-contact activities, libraries, weddings, religious services.
  • Funerals up to 20 people indoors or 30 people outdoors.
  • Recreational travel allowed within 150 km regions.
  • 10 person maximum for dining in at restaurants, cafes, pubs, licensed clubs, RSLs and hotels.

Stage 2

  • Begins on 12 June.
  • Gatherings of up to 20 people.
  • Funerals allowed up to 50 people.
  • Recreational travel limit raised to 250km. Camping and accomodation restrictions lifted, including caravan parks.

Stage 3

  • Begins on 10 July
  • Gatherings of up to 100 people.

South Australia

Stage 1

  • Begins on 11 May.
  • Gathering limit increased to 10 people.
  • Funerals allowed up to 20 people indoors and 30 people outdoors.

Stage 2

  • Begins from 8 June
  • Gathering limit increased to 20 people.

Western Australia

Stage 1

  • Stage 1 has been in place since 27 April.

Stage 2

  • Begins on 18 May.
  • Public gathering limit increased to 20 people.
  • Weddings and funerals allowed up to 20 people indoors and 30 people outdoors.
  • Some regional travel bans remain in place.

Stage 3

  • Due to begin around four weeks after stage 2.

Tasmania

Stage 1

  • Begins on 18 May.
  • Gatherings increased to 10 people.
  • Households capped at 5 visitors.
  • 30 people allowed at outdoor funerals. Funerals increased to a 20 person limit on 11 May.

Stage 2

  • Due to begin on 15 June.
  • Gatherings increased to a 20 person limit.
  • Review of household visitor restrictions.
  • Funeral limit lifted to 50 people.

Stage 3

  • Due to begin on 13 July.
  • Gatherings maximum limit will be lifted to between 50 and 100 people.
  • Aged care homes will be allowed five visitors and multiple visits.

Northern Territory

Stage 1

  • Began on 1 May.
  • Restrictions lifted on a host of indoor and outdoor recreational activities.

Stage 2

  • Due to begin on 15 May.
  • More restrictions lifted on businesses, including food services, gyms, and public libraries.

Stage 3

  • Due to begin on 5 June.

ACT

Stage 1

  • Began on 9 May.
  • Gathering limit lifted to a maximum of 10 people for both indoor and outdoor gatherings. Includes religious ceremonies, outdoor boot camps, and real estate open houses and auctions.
  • Home gatherings are limited to 10 people with the exception of where two households coming together is more than 10 people.
  • Weddings allowed 10 guests.
  • Funerals allowed 20 people indoors and 30 people outdoors.
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Daniel Wild

Daniel Wild is the Deputy Executive Director at the Institute of Public Affairs

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