Already 1-in-6 Australian businesses have been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19)

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 25-Feb-20

In mid-February around 1-in-6 Australian businesses (15%) have already been affected by the coronavirus. This new threat to business comes after 28% of Australian businesses said they have been affected by the extensive bushfires over the last few months, according to a special Roy Morgan Snap SMS Survey of 1,170 Australian businesses. A little over a week after the Australian Government stopped all direct commercial flights to China in early February the coronavirus (COVID-19) is already striking several industries. Around two-fifths of Manufacturers are already reporting being affected, closely followed by a third of Education & training businesses and those in the Wholesale industry. Other industries to already be feeling the effects of the coronavirus include Accommodation & Food services (which includes travel and tourism businesses), Community services, Administrative & Support services and Property & Business services. Meanwhile, a deeper analysis of the industries most heavily impacted by the bushfires/floods shows that over 40% of businesses in the Accommodation and Food services sector, which includes travel and tourism, say they have been affected either ‘A great deal’ or ‘Somewhat’. Around a third of businesses in the Retail and Property & Business services industries have been affected, while there have also been disproportionately large impacts on Manufacturing, Transport, Postal and Warehousing, Public administration & defence, Education & training and Recreation & personal.

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ROY MORGAN LIMITED

Practical focus for fire inquiry

Original article by Rosie Lewis, Rachel Baxendale, David Ross, Sarah Elks, Yoni Bashan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 21-Feb-20

The federal government has released the terms of reference for its bushfires royal commission, which will be headed by former defence force chief Mark Binskin. The six-month inquiry’s focus will be on natural disaster management and improving Australia’s resilience to natural disasters. Labor and the Greens have criticised the government for excluding policies aimed at reducing carbon emissions from the inquiry’s terms of reference.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS

Scorched land safe from fires for years

Original article by Kieran Gair
The Australian – Page: 2 : 14-Feb-20

The CSIRO estimates that some 10 million hectares of land has been razed during the 2019-20 bushfire season. This exceeds the combined area burnt in the 2009 Black Saturday and 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires. Landscape ecologist Grant Williamson says the massive destruction of plant life in the bushfire zones means there will be no danger of fires in these areas for at least four years, as there is nothing left to burn. Meanwhile, the Rural Fire Service has confirmed that all bushfires in New South Wales have been contained.

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CSIRO, UNIVERSITY OF TASMANIA, NEW SOUTH WALES RURAL FIRE SERVICE

No food, no fuel, no phones: Bushfires showed we’re only ever one step from system collapse

Original article by Anthony Richardson
The New Daily – Page: Online : 11-Feb-20

Australia’s recent bushfires revealed the shortcomings of the ‘just in time’ model used for the distribution of food and fuel. When the Victorian town of Mallacoota was cut off by road and air because of the fires, food and fuel supplies quickly became so low that there were suggestions of a pending humanitarian crisis. Australia currently imports 90 per cent of its oil, most of which comes through the Strait of Hormuz. Australia is meant to keep 90 days of fuel supplies in reserve as part of its International Energy Agency obligations, but at one point in late 2019, it reportedly had only 23 days of jet fuel, 22 days of diesel and 18 days of petrol in reserve.

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INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY

Fire inquiry accepts climate link: Morrison

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 6-Feb-20

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has advised that former defence force chief Mark Binskin will head the federal government’s bushfires royal commission. Morrison says the inquiry will proceed on the basis that climate change is real and contributed to the scale and severity of the bushfires. National Party leader Michael McCormack says that while human activity has contributed to climate change, it is the role of scientists to determine the extent of this. Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton in turn has pointed to arson as one of the causes of the bushfires.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS

Greens want coal levy to fund more paid firefighters

Original article by Judith Ireland
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 6-Feb-20

Greens leader Adam Bandt has proposed the introduction of a levy on coal, gas and oil producers. The levy would be priced at $1 per tonne of carbon dioxide and would raise about $1.5bn a year. Most of the proceeds would be used to hire nearly 16,000 additional paid firefighters in metropolitan and rural areas. Bandt says the nation’s firefighters are exhausted by the intensity and duration of the bushfire season. The Australia Institute also called for a levy on fossil fuel producers in late 2019, as part of its proposal for a National Climate Disaster Fund.

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AUSTRALIAN GREENS, THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE LIMITED

Why prescribed burning has never been so important to Australia

Original article by Neil Burrows, Rick Sneeuwjagt
The Age – Page: Online : 29-Jan-20

The issue of hazard reduction burning in national parks and forests has come under scrutiny in the wake of the bushfires crisis. The purpose of prescribed burning is to assist in safely suppressing bushfires rather than stopping them. Reducing the fuel load in some areas means that they can take a lower priority in the event of a fire, enabling firefighters to be deployed to the fire’s perimeter or to defend properties. Indirect suppression strategies such as back burning are easier if the fuel load has previously been reduced.

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PM’s bid to boost disaster powers

Original article by Simon Benson, Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 29-Jan-20

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will use a National Press Club speech on 29 January to argue the case for the federal government to be given increased powers to declare a national emergency. He will also call for the government to be given the power to deploy Australian Defence Force personnel to disaster areas without a request from a state premier. Morrison will stress the need for Australia to learn from the current bushfire season in order to be better prepared for future disasters.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB (AUSTRALIA)

Today 26% of Australian businesses have been affected by bushfires – Australia needs to support businesses in the Accommodation and Food services industries with Visitors and Tourists

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 28-Jan-20

A special Roy Morgan Snap SMS Survey shows that 26% of Australian businesses have been affected either ‘A great deal’ (7%), ‘Somewhat’ (10%) or ‘A little’ (9%) by the bushfires. Some 74% of businesses have been unaffected by the bushfire. A deeper analysis of the industries most heavily impacted shows that over a third of businesses in the Accommodation and Food services sector, which includes travel and tourism, say they have been affected ‘A great deal’ – higher than any other industry. Businesses in Queensland and NSW have been the hardest hit, with 12% of Queensland businesses and 11% of NSW businesses affected ‘A great deal’ by the bushfires – far higher than any other State. In general businesses in NSW are the most likely to have been impacted, with 35% affected in some way, compared to around a quarter of businesses in Queensland (25%) and Victoria (24%). In contrast, only 16% of businesses in WA and 11% in Tasmania have been affected at all. These findings are based on an SMS survey of 1,308 Australian businesses.

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ROY MORGAN LIMITED

Homes not built to survive worst fires

Original article by Olivia Caisley
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 24-Jan-20

More than 2,800 homes have been lost across Australia during the current bushfire season, including 49 in Queensland. The state government has been urged to review the building standards for homes in bushfire-prone areas; the state has a fire danger index rating of just 40 for such homes, compared with an FDI-100 rating in Victoria and most parts of New South Wales. Professor Grahame Douglas, a fire danger expert from the University of Western Sydney, says Queensland should look at upgrading to an FDI-100 rating for areas that are at risk from bushfires.

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UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN SYDNEY