Businesses respond to COVID-19 challenges
COVID-19 has forced 70 per cent of Australian businesses to change how they operate, according to results from the fourth Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) survey on Business Impacts of COVID-19.
ABS Head of Industry Statistics John Shepherd said this week the survey also showed that seven in 10 businesses (72 per cent) had a decrease in revenue as a result of COVID-19.
“Businesses that had changed the way they operate were more than twice as likely to report a decrease in revenue compared with those that were trading normally, 83 per cent against 37 per cent,” Mr Shepherd said.
The survey also found that almost three quarters of businesses accessed support measures as a result of COVID-19. This included accessing wage subsidies (55 per cent) and other government support measures (38 per cent).
Looking ahead, government restrictions are expected to continue to have an effect, with businesses reporting they expect some level of impact from social distancing measures (71 per cent), restrictions on trading (63 per cent) and travel restrictions (50 per cent) in the next two months.
$2.1 billion plan to bust North Brisbane congestion
The Queensland Government has this month unveiled a $2.1 billion congestion-busting road plan for Moreton Bay and North Brisbane commuters.
The plan backs a new arterial road, informally dubbed the ‘Moreton Connector’, to be built between Dohles Rocks Road at Murrumba Downs and Anzac Avenue at Mango Hill. It would also deliver upgrades to the Gateway Motorway, Gympie Road and the Bruce Highway, including new north facing ramps at Dohles Rocks Road.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey says both the State and Federal governments have locked funding into future budgets for the northside upgrades, with both governments committed to working with Moreton Bay Regional Council to deliver the proposed new road.
“The Gateway Motorway, Bruce Highway and Gympie Road in this part of Brisbane’s outer northern suburbs collectively carry about 310,000 vehicles a day,” Mr Bailey said.
“That’s 100,000 more vehicles a day than on the busiest section of the M1, so it’s clear a plan is needed for new roads and major upgrades there.
“This is the plan that will deliver those upgrades.”
Victorian recycling needs $1 billion investment by 2039 to close the loop on waste
Victoria can transform its resource and recycling sector to recover up to 90 per cent of its waste with $1 billion of investment in infrastructure from both government and the private sector by 2039.
Advice from Infrastructure Victoria released this month suggests upgrading or building new processing infrastructure for six priority materials – plastics, paper, cardboard, glass, organics, tyres and e-waste – would create over 5000 new jobs and create high quality, recycled products for use in major infrastructure projects, manufacturing and agriculture.
Regional Victoria stands to benefit most from significantly increased processing capacity, with the advice recommending 52 out of 87 new or upgraded facilities be located outside of metropolitan Melbourne.
Infrastructure Victoria CEO Michel Masson said the advice contained all the elements for Victoria to develop a world-class recycling and resource recovery system within the next two decades.
“By encouraging investment in new infrastructure and developing new uses for recycled products, we can transform to a circular economy,” he said.
The report finds Victoria will need to boost its recycling capacity by more than three million tonnes to 2039 to meet targets and address the issues of stockpiling and illegal dumping.
Other key recommendations include:
- support the establishment of safe and clean waste to energy facilities for waste that cannot be recycled;
- provide greater clarity of roles and responsibilities for Victorian Government bodies involved in recycling and resource recovery;
- collaborate with the Australian government to foster a repair culture and expand product stewardship and producer responsibility schemes; and
- consider levies or bans on specific materials, such as non-recyclable coffee cups, where viable alternatives exist.
The report’s 13 recommendations were developed in consultation with government and industry stakeholders to align with the recently released Recycling Victoria: a new economy policy and associated programs like Recycled first.