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“The NSW Government Has Demonstrated Leadership”

Written by
27 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 NSW government has demonstrated leadership in freezing public sector pay for 12 months but should go further in reducing the pay of non-front-line workers by 20% to reflect cuts experienced by many Australians in the private sector.”

“Australians overwhelmingly support shared sacrifice between the public and productive, private sectors of the economy. 74% of Australians want politicians and senior public servants on salaries of $150,000 or more to have their pay reduced by 20%, according to polling commissioned by the IPA.”

“The fact that the ABC is refusing to even freeze the wages of its staff – let alone introduce a pay reduction – shows just how out of touch the ABC is with mainstream Australia.”

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

Australia

  • 7,133 confirmed cases and 102 deaths. There are 478 active cases and 6,553 recoveries. There are 30 cases in hospital and 5 of those are in intensive care.
  • According to data from Commonwealth Bank, consumer spending is 4 per cent higher than this time last year. ANZ data shows it is 2.3 per cent higher. From the week ending 27 March to the week ending 17 May, spending was in negative territory when lockdown restrictions were most severe. Victoria, which maintains strict lockdown measures, has spending 5.5 per cent below this time last year. In WA, where restrictions were never as strict and have been lifted faster, spending is 12 per cent above levels the same time last year. The data only measures spending on cards, so it is likely some of the growth is actually a shift from cash-spending to card-spending caused by social distancing and hygiene measures in stores that encourage contactless and card payments.

Labour force paid by the government

53.6 per cent of the labour force is either directly employed by Commonwealth and state governments or local councils, or is in receipt of the JobSeeker unemployment payment or the JobKeeper wage subsidy:

  • Public sector: 2 million (15.1 per cent of labour force).
  • JobSeeker: 1.6 million (12.1 per cent of labour force).
  • JobKeeper: 3.5 million (26.4 per cent of labour force).
  • Total: 7.1 million (53.6 per cent of labour force).
  • Labour force: 13.24 million.

Schools

  • New South Wales – All schools will return to full-time face-to-face classes from May 25.
  • 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

From 15 May

  • Home gatherings limited to a maximum of five visitors from separate 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.

From 1 June

  • Pubs, clubs and cafes can serve up to 50 patrons.
  • Intra-state travel restrictions are completely lifted.
  • Museums, art galleries and libraries can reopen.

Victoria

From 13 May

  • Home gatherings limited to a maximum of five visitors from separate 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.

From 26 May

  • Public playgrounds, outdoor communal gym equipment, and skateparks will be reopened.

From 1 June

  • Cafes, restaurants, and pubs will be allowed to serve 20 people per enclosed area.
  • Private gatherings, public gatherings, weddings, religious services, increased to 20 people. Funerals increased to 50 people. Overnight stays in private residences will be allowed.
  • Real estate auctions and open houses will be allowed 20 people.
  • Beauty services will be allowed to open with up to 20 patrons.
  • Camping and accommodation venues allowed to open with no use of shared facilities.
  • Community facilities, swimming pools, museums, amusement parks, zoos, and non-contact outdoor sporting activities will be allowed to resume with up to 20 people per space with social distancing measures.

From 22 June

  • The restrictions on cafes, restaurants, and pubs will be raised to 50 people.
  • Community facilities, swimming pools, museums, amusement parks, zoos, and non-contact outdoor sporting activities will increase to 50 people per space with social distancing measures.
  • Gyms and other indoor sports centres will be allowed 20 people per undivided space and 10 people per group.
  • Indoor venues including cinemas, concert venues, and stadiums will be allowed up to 50 seated patrons per space.

From mid-July

  • The restriction on cafes, restaurants, and pubs may be raised to 100 people.

Queensland

From 15 May

  • Home gatherings limited to a maximum of five visitors from separate 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 150km of home in metro areas. Travel up to 500km from home is permitted in regional areas, and travellers can stay in a location (accommodation, family or friend) overnight.
  • 10 person maximum for dining in at restaurants, cafes, pubs, licensed clubs, RSLs and hotels. 20 person limit for licensed venues in regional areas.

From 12 June

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

From 10 July

  • Gatherings of up to 100 people.

South Australia

From 11 May

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

From 22 May

  • Restaurants and cafes will be able to seat 20 patrons, half inside and half outside, and serve alcohol.

From 1 June

  • Pubs, clubs, restaurants, cinemas, beauty salons and gyms can reopen with up to 80 patrons.

Western Australia

From 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.

From 29 May

  • Intra-state travel restrictions are lifted. Restrictions remain for parts of the north-east of the state and for some remote communities.

Tasmania

From 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.

From 15 June

  • Gatherings increased to a 20 person limit.
  • Review of household visitor restrictions.
  • Funeral limit lifted to 50 people.

From 13 June

  • 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

From 1 May

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

From 15 May

  • More restrictions lifted on businesses, including food services, gyms, and public libraries.

From 5 June

  • Further easing of restrictions due.

ACT

From 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 Director of Research at the Institute of Public Affairs

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