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Up to 300,000 hospitality jobs set to be lost across Australia

Up to 300,000 hospitality jobs set to be lost across Australia
March 24, 2020

Nearly 90,000 hospitality employees have lost their jobs this week with another 200,000 more set to be laid off over the next three months as a result of the Coronavirus crisis.

The grim forecast was tweeted by Nine News political editor Chris Uhlmann, saying these were the figures reported to the Australian Government.

However, Federal Minister for Government Services, Stuart Robert was even more pessimistic, saying “maybe a million” people were left unemployed overnight following the shutdown of many sectors of the economy.

The mass job losses stem from the nationwide shutdown to the public of gyms, indoor sporting venues, cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, pubs, clubs, hotels and other venues.

The effect on Australia’s unemployment rate is likely to see it rise significantly from its February level of 5.1%.

The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) said the ban on licensed premises was an “unprecedented move in our peace-time history”.

AHA Chief Executive, Stephen Ferguson stated "there’s no doubt this move is already having a devastating impact on our direct national workforce of 250,000 and our millions of patrons."

With an estimated 60,000 people employed in South Australia’s hospitality sector, Australian Hotels Association SA Chief Executive, Ian Horne is urging the government to introduce direct wage subsidies for staff.

Horne told Adelaide newspaper The Advertiser, "nobody could ever contemplate a set of circumstances where every single hotel in Australia was shut down on the same day."

Currently the Federal Government has increased Jobseeker support and is fast tracking new applicants for those that have been left jobless by the ban.

Adelaide City Council offered a $4 million support package on Monday night, while South Australia Premier Steven Marshall is working on a second stimulus package to be launched within a week.

In Western Australia, around 40,000 people including hospitality workers at restaurants, cafes and pubs have been left without a job as of yesterday.

Speaking on the 6PR Morning Show, Australian Hotels Association WA Chief Executive Bradley Woods said it was “a terrible day for the industry”.

Woods said the Federal Government had turned the offer down by industry to pay staff welfare payments through the businesses they worked for. The Federal Government has opted to rely on Centrelink has the best option to support people in need.

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