The Howard Smith Wharves are among a number of hospitality and business venues that are very quiet due to coronavirus. (AAP Image/Josh Woning)
The Howard Smith Wharves are among a number of hospitality and business venues that are very quiet due to coronavirus. (AAP Image/Josh Woning)

No business is safe: $2.5b hit to Qld economy

THE Queensland economy will bleed $2.5 billion over the next three years due to the devastating impacts of the coronavirus on every business, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

Announcing $500 million in interest-free loans for businesses to help them keep Queenslanders in jobs, Ms Palaszczuk no part of the workforce wouldn't be impacted by Covid-19 and the ramifications would be felt for years.

"At this stage we don't know how long the outbreak will last or exactly what its economic impact will be," she said.

"Initial economic modelling by Queensland Treasury estimates a potential reduction in Gross State Product of $2.5 billion over the three years to 2021-22.

"However, the situation is evolving every day."

 

Passenger numbers on trains have dropped. Picture: AAP Image/Richard Gosling
Passenger numbers on trains have dropped. Picture: AAP Image/Richard Gosling

 

Deputy Premier and Treasury called on banks to relax rules for business now, including offering interest-only repayments on loans and overdrafts to help free up cashflow to relieve pressure on them.

"While we have made preliminary estimates of its impact, the rapidly unfolding nature of this crisis means that these estimates become obsolete almost as soon as they are made," she said.

"As RBA Deputy Governor Guy Debelle has said: 'It is just too uncertain to assess the impact of the virus beyond the current quarter'.

 

A staff member in protective medical clothing moves through the arrivals area at Brisbane International Airport. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)
A staff member in protective medical clothing moves through the arrivals area at Brisbane International Airport. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

 

"The Palaszczuk Government will do everything we can do support businesses, to support workers, and to support the community, so that when we do get past this pandemic, our economy is in the best possible position to rebound as strongly as we can."



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