Nepal | July 11, 2020

Australian PM calls for economic overhaul to fuel post-coronavirus recovery

Reuters
Share Now:
  • Truce between employers and workers needed: PM
  • Australia plots economic recovery
  • Australia records just over 7,100 cases of COVID-19
  • Six cases from ship recently arrived from the UAE recorded

SYDNEY: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday called for an ideological truce between employers and workers to revive the country’s A$2 trillion ($1.3 trillion) economy, which has been badly damaged by the coronavirus pandemic.

Australia’s more than 7,100 COVID-19 infections and 102 deaths are low compared to many other developed countries, but the measures imposed to contain the disease have pushed the economy to the brink of its first recession in 30 years.

Morrison said that with the virus now under control and the government’s A$250 billion ($164.5 billion) stimulus spending package winding down, the economy needed to stand on its own feet.

“At some point you’ve got to get your economy out of intensive care,” Morrison said in a speech in Canberra.

The conservative leader promised to bring together unions and business chiefs to discuss industrial relations reform, a move reminiscent of the 1983 Prices and Incomes Accord which modernised the economy under Labor prime minister Bob Hawke.

Hawke, a union leader before he entered parliament, won support from the political left to float the Australian dollar, remove controls on foreign exchange and interest rates and lower tariffs on imports.

The divide between employers and workers within Australia has grown in recent years amid stagnant wage growth, but with unemployment set to top 10% this year, Morrison said the time was right for a conciliatory approach.

“We need people to get together and sort this stuff out. As I say, they’ve been caught in grooves for too long, and grooves going in parallel lines and not coming together. And that’s why I’m hoping this process will achieve,” he said.

Morrison also said Australia would streamline its vocational training programmes to ensure trades are valued paths of employment for young people.

TENSIONS WITH THE STATES

When Morrison announced last week a three-staged plan to ease social distancing restrictions by July, he warned further coronavirus outbreaks were likely.

Western Australia (WA) state on Tuesday said six people aboard a livestock vessel that docked last week from the United Arab Emirates had tested positive for COVID-19, an outbreak the state government blamed on Morrison’s government.

WA Premier Mark McGowan said Australia’s Department of Agriculture gave permission for the vessel – carrying 48 people – to dock despite being aware some crew members were sick.

None of the crew had left the ship, he added.

Tensions between McGowan and Morrison are already high as WA refuses to open state borders – which risks delaying the opening of a travel link between Australia and New Zealand.

Life for many Australians is beginning to return to normal with schools returning to face-to-face learning and the National Rugby League competition set this week to become the world’s first contact sport to resume.

U.S. biotechnology company Novavax Inc said it had begun the first phase of a clinical trial of a novel coronavirus vaccine candidate in Australia. Preliminary results are expected in July.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Nepal at high risk of yet another locust invasion, five large swarms expected to fly in

KATHMANDU: Nepal could possibly be swarmed by locusts yet again as a large swarm is seen moving northward from Rajasthan of India, warned Plant Quarantine and Pesticide Management Centre. Five swarms of locusts are currently spaced out at 400 hectors of the area around Sikar of Rajasthan of India Read More...

In Pictures: Health workers at the frontline

  A health worker collects throat swabs for Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing of patients at Teku-based Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, in Kathmandu, on Thursday, July 9, 2020. Read More...

30 missing as monsoon-disasters strike Myagdi

POKHARA: As many as 29 persons have gone missing as rain-triggered landslides carried them away in various parts of Myagdi district. Among the missing, 12 are from Dhawalagiri Rural Municipality-6, eight from Malika Rural Munciipality-7, seven from Rikha and one each from Thulogaun and Namruk, in Read More...

Kazakhstan denies Chinese reports of pneumonia deadlier than coronavirus

SHANGHAI: Kazakhstan dismissed as incorrect on Friday a warning by China's embassy for its citizens to guard against an outbreak of pneumonia in the central Asian nation that it described as being more lethal than the coronavirus. In a statement late on Thursday on its official WeChat account, Read More...

Tropical Storm Barry

Storm off Mexico likely to be east Pacific's first hurricane

MEXICO CITY: Tropical Storm Cristina formed Thursday off Mexico's western coast and was forecast to grow into the first hurricane of the eastern Pacific season by Friday morning, though it was unlikely to pose any threat to land. The US National Hurricane Center said the storm had near hurricane- Read More...

US bans Pakistan International Airlines flights over pilot concerns

SYDNEY: The US Department of Transportation said it has revoked permission for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to conduct charter flights to the United States, citing Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) concerns over Pakistani pilot certifications. The information is contained in a r Read More...

Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 12.33 million, death toll over 554,000

At least 12,337,121 people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 554,383 have died, a Reuters tally showed. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019. The World Read More...

Coping with fear of Covid-19

KATHMANDU: With more than a hundred days in lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic, the general state of mind of most of the people has had significant changes or shifts. Amid this situation, many organisations are working to aid people to overcome their fear, stress, anxiety related to Covid-19. Read More...