Great Southern Hand: State emergency economic responses to COVID-19

by Leanne Minshull

COVID-19 had an immediate economic and social effect on all Australians. As businesses shut, state borders closed and millions of Australians lost all or part of their income, State Governments stepped in and provided immediate relief.

This report compiles state government spending in support of existing businesses and community organisations in response to the COVID-19 crisis. It does not consider health spending that directly relates to treating victims of the disease, but to the immediate efforts that state governments made to protect their existing economies and communities. It is based on announced estimates that may be updated once more detailed budget figures are available

In absolute terms, the announced spending measures go roughly in line with the size of state economies:

  • NSW: $1,174 million
  •  Vic: $1,295 million
  •  Qld: $2,800 million
  • WA: $427 million
  • SA: $650 million
  • Tas: $609.8 million

However, when expressed in terms of the relative size of each state’s economy, Tasmania clearly provided the most support:

  • Tas: 1.92%
  • Qld: 0.78%
  • SA: 0.60%
  • Vic: 0.29%
  • NSW: 0.19%
  • WA: 0.16%

Full report