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Victoria’s new lockdowns will hit Australia’s economy ‘more broadly’

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the government’s economic prediction was now out of date as Victoria enters tougher stage four restrictions.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says Victoria's new lockdowns will impact the Australian economy "more broadly" but he cannot yet put an amount on it.

Previously the government said the pandemic would cost the economy $3.3 billion, a figure which is now out of date.

"Obviously that 3.3 billion number was not based on stage 4 restrictions, nor was it based on restrictions being right across the state," Mr Frydenberg told Today.

"I will make that number available when it comes to me, but clearly this is going to hit the Victorian economy which makes up around a quarter of the national economy, and this will obviously impact on the consumer and business confidence more broadly."

He expects some businesses to shut down that previously had not been forced to close.

"We will wait to see what the Victorian government announces in terms of the various businesses and industries and how they can operate in these conditions," he said.

"Clearly some will not be able to operate, some will.

"It is important that essential services, not just our health services but also our energy suppliers and some of our manufacturing continues, despite the broader COVID restrictions."

The idea of a special 'pandemic pay' was being looked at, he said.

"There are already some big businesses - Wesfarmers who have Bunnings, Officeworks, K-Mart, Target, they have announced 14 days of paid pandemic leave, and they have 30,000 staff in Victoria," Mr Frydenberg said.

"The Victorian government has announced a $1500 payment for those workers who can't access leave but have to isolate because they have got the coronavirus, or they have come into contact with someone who has.

"The Attorney-General will work the stakeholders on this issue of paid pandemic leave, but clearly there is business that are making some moves and State Governments as well."

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Source: 9News

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