“I can’t sugar-coat this.”

“The economic consequences of this are going to be severe,” WA Premier Mark McGowan told Botica’s Bunch on Tuesday. “It may take us years to get out of this.”

Just yesterday, McGowan announced a $607 million economic stimulus package to help deal with the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak.

He told Fred & Lisa that the best way we can cope with this right now, is to make sure our industries remain as strong as they can – that the instant people stop spending, people were going to go broke.

“The problem is, a lot of them have spent a lot already, haven’t they?” Fred remarked.

McGowan agreed, to a point.

“People are spending at supermarkets, obviously,” he replied. “But it’s all the other businesses that worry me.”

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Lisa questioned the likelihood of a lockdown situation where cafes, restaurants and small retailers would be forced to close their doors.

“There’s been no discussion on that,” McGowan said.

“I mean, if you did that, you’re just going to send hundreds of thousands of people broke. I mean, the consequence of that. Think of all the social and potential health consequences of that.”

The Premier said shutting down schools had not been considered at this point.

Instead, what the national approach is, is that if a child catches coronavirus, that school would be closed while other potential cases could be traced. The school would then be cleaned and reopened.

There was another reason why schools remain open.

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“If you close the schools,” McGowan said, “You’re going to have thousands of nurses and police officers, bus drivers [and other essential service workers] stay home to look after their kids.”

“If they don’t – I know what happens in my family – grandparents look after the kids – and the grandparents are the vulnerable ones.”

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