Australia Qld businesses upbeat as restrictions ease
Venues caught out in SA blitz on QR codes
A police blitz on the use of QR codes across South Australia has revealed a swag of businesses not complying with the rules.The blitz checked on 846 businesses between January 22 and 28 and found 732 were properly using the QR codes.
Queensland business confidence has risen sharply as coronavirus restrictions eased and consumers redirected their interstate and overseas holiday spending in the December quarter.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland's latest survey shows business' 12-month outlook for the state and national economy rose from weak to satisfactory over the quarter.
General business conditions, sales and revenue, profitability, employment levels and capital expenditure have all risen to be at satisfactory level, but labour costs are moderate and operating costs are high.
A year to forget — and remember. How COVID-19 infiltrated Australia
From day one on January 25 last year the coronavirus found every nook and cranny it could to divide and conquer.A Chinese national who had arrived in Melbourne on January 19 is the first person to test positive for a mysterious new coronavirus originating in the city of Wuhan, in central China. In the preceding days, China confirmed the virus could spread between people, a week after the World Health Organization suggested there was no evidence for this. The virus has begun to spread into Europe and the United States. By the end of the day, there are three positive cases in Sydney.
The CCIQ says an easing of social-distancing restrictions imposed on businesses and a dramatic shift in consumer spending away from interstate or overseas holidays contributed to the lift.
CCIQ economist Jack Baxter said it was the third consecutive quarterly rise in sentiment out of the record lows of early 2020.
"There has been an encouraging uplift in business conditions across all of the economic outlook and performance indicators that now exceed their respective 10-year averages," he said in a statement on Monday.
Video: Retail turnover rose by 2.5 per cent in the December quarter (Sky News Australia)
"Contributing to the improvements was the complete implementation of staged easing of restrictions, an increase in discretional spending, and general improvements to travel within Queensland."
Queensland declares Perth a coronavirus hotspot
Queensland has declared Perth and some surrounding regions a coronavirus hotspot, meaning anyone arriving from the area must go into 14-day hotel quarantine. The decision comes after metropolitan Perth, the Peel region and the South West region went into a five-day lockdown on Sunday because of a hotel quarantine worker's infection.Anyone who arrives from those areas from 6pm on Sunday must go into quarantine.Victoria has also moved swiftly following the lockdown announcement, moving the impacted areas from green zones to red under their traffic light system, from 9pm on Sunday.
The CCIQ said the more viable operating environment had made more than two thirds of businesses confident of surviving after the federal government winds back JobKeeper in March.
The survey showed that businesses were also hopeful the rollout of coronavirus vaccines this year will further improve operating conditions.
The chamber warned that despite conditions being above their 10-year averages, they had been low for much of the decade after the Global Financial Crisis.
The report urged the state government to embark on bold reform of its 'inefficient taxes and transfers' to help businesses recover from COVID-19 and boost stagnant productivity growth.
"Businesses cannot afford a continuation of underperformance and are calling for the government to focus on productivity as a means to push the quality of living in Queensland," the report said.
Covid restrictions are relaxed for millions of Sydney residents .
Covid restrictions for millions of Greater Sydney residents will be relaxed from Friday as NSW recorded 24 straight days of no locally acquired cases.The four square metre rule at all venues except gyms will be slashed in half allowing businesses to effectively double capacity.