Opposition leader Anthony Albanese will today warn against a “snap-back” to the problems of pre-coronavirus Australia, calling for a reshaping of the national economy. Albanese will today deliver a broad ranging “vision statement” pushing high-speed rail, decentralised government services to boost regional areas, affordable social housing, and a revitalised manufacturing sector. “Let's not ‘snap back’ to insecure work, to job seekers stuck in poverty, to scientists being ignored", he is expected to say. The call comes as Grattan Institute analysis finds development of a hydrogen-based steel industry, powered by wind and solar resources, could deliver $65 billion in annual export revenue and 25,000 jobs.
Australia faces the two largest budget deficits in Australian history at more than $130 billion this year and next, according to an economic forecast from Deloitte Access Economics. unemployment is back at 5 per cent. The analysis finds that Australia will suffer a $200 billion (or 10.8 per cent) hit to national income in 2020-21, and won’t return to the sub-5 per cent unemployment rate enjoyed prior to the shutdown until the end of 2024. Deloitte partner Chris Richardson said low interest rates made the debt levels manageable, equating to $3 a week for the average taxpayer. In addition, Deloitte expected net overseas migration to drop to 55,000 in 2020-21.
Former judges and senior public servants have written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison to urge Australia to follow the United Kingdom and Brazil in employing virtual parliamentary solutions. The group of ten, which Guardian Australia reports includes former high court justice Mary Gaudron and and former department of prime minister and cabinet secretary, Michael Keating, say Australia’s response is “undemocratic and unprecedented” and parliament should still meet. “Individual ministers have been given the power to allocate multibillion dollar discretionary funds and write the rules for major policy response programs,” the group said in the letter. Parliament will sit for three days this week but is not scheduled to reconvene until August.
Victoria will make an announcement later this week on whether to join other Australian states in relaxing restrictions. New South Wales will relax laws from Friday and Western Australia will return to work next Monday. Queensland and NSW schools begin a staggered return today, South Australia will permit outdoor dining, and Tasmania is easing restrictions on funerals and visits to aged-care homes. Restrictions overseas are also being relaxed, although such moves are fanning fears of a second wave of infections. In Germany, infections are accelerating again, days after its leaders loosened social restrictions including the opening of shops.