FOUR CORNERS counts the economic cost of COVID-19

Four Corners
Source: ABC

The cost of coronavirus: confronting the economic shock of COVID-19.

“This was a break glass moment for the Australian economy.”  Josh Frydenberg, Federal Treasurer

The outbreak of coronavirus in Australia has created a public health emergency like no other.  It’s also unleashed a financial wrecking ball right through the Australian economy.

“As the situation evolved rapidly it became very clear that this was going to be quite devastating.” Mathias Cormann, Finance Minister

In just a few short weeks an alarming number of Australians have found themselves without work as businesses, even whole industries, have shut down.

“That was a really really shocking time for all Australians to see those lines outside Centrelink and I think probably up to a million workers were let go within 72 hours.”  Sally McManus, Head of the Australian Council of Trade Unions

On Monday Four Corners investigates the political scramble to contain the enormous financial damage caused by COVID-19.

“When they told me that number, I sort of took a deep breath and I thought that’s enormous.”  Josh Frydenberg, Federal Treasurer

With access to the key players in this financial battle, Insiders host David Speers reports for Four Corners and captures history in the making.

“I think it was a day when all of us as leaders of the nation and leaders of the State realised we had a national crisis on our hands”.   Gladys Berejiklian, Premier of NSW

“We had a pretty frank discussion about the fact that a big step needed to be taken, and that’s heartbreaking given the number of people that would be out of work.”   Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria

Featuring candid interviews with those crucial to the decision making and an exclusive interview with the Governor of the Reserve Bank, the program gives a unique insight into the planning and execution of the financial rescue attempts.

“What we thought in our first package might help underpin the economy… became comparatively meaningless.”   Mathias Cormann, Finance Minister

The episode provides a powerful insight into the high stakes operation to save both lives and jobs.

It is replayed on Tuesday 21st April at 1.00pm and Wednesday 22nd at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.

Four Corners: The cost of Coronavirus, reported by David Speers, goes to air on Monday 20th April at 8.30pm.

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