Coronavirus crisis: Victorian lockdown to cost Australian economy $6 billion, says Josh Frydenberg

Sarah IsonThe West Australian
VideoGreater Melbourne and parts of regional Victoria have been ordered back into lockdown.

Victoria’s latest coronavirus lockdown is expected to cost Australia’s economy $6 billion and significantly slow the nation’s economic recovery.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg confirmed about $1 billion a week was expected to be lost during the lockdown, currently expected to last six weeks.

“We will see a substantial economic impact as a result of these restrictions coming back in," he said on 2GB.

He added later on Sky there would be a “serious impediment to the speed and the trajectory of the nation's economic recovery, not just Victoria”.

In the wake of the new wave of economic shocks expected to come from the Victorian crisis, Mr Frydenberg confirmed there would be “another phase of income support” after September.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
Camera IconPrime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. Credit: Sam Mooy/Getty Images

It comes as the Federal Government alluded to certain sectors receiving continued support payments after JobKeeper ends, but with no confirmation as to which are slated for the ongoing help.

Yesterday, Government Services Minister Stuart Roberts said he was “absolutely preparing” for an uptick of Australians on the unemployment cue post-September.

The OECD yesterday warned Australia could face an unemployment rate of more than 9 per cent should it experience a second wave of COVID-19.

But should the virus remain relatively contained, unemployment was expected to rise to 8.3 per cent, well below the OECD-wide average of 9.4 per cent.

The unemployment rate currently sits at 7.1 per cent, the highest levels since 2001, with WA battling the worst unemployment of all States at 8.1 per cent.

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