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TOILET PAPER STAMPEDE: Empty shelves where toilet paper was. TOILET PAPER STAMPEDE: Empty shelves where toilet paper was. Featured
11 March 2020 Posted by 


How businesses are being affected
THE Central Coast has so far avoided the Coronavirus outbreak, but it is already influencing business.

A Central Coast Local Health spokesperson told Access: “We can advise that we haven’t had any confirmed cases on the Central Coast.”
The spokesman said the hospital was preparing for dual outbreaks of the traditional influenza as well as the looming coronavirus crisis.
“However, COVID-19 is no different to any other infectious disease people may present with at an ED such as measles, as long as people are phoning ahead so they can be isolated, there is little risk to staff or patients.”
Central Coast tech companies are starting to feel the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak.
They report that prices for new computers have surged in recent weeks. A computer supplier said the big worry now was that companies planning to upgrade their systems would now hold off for a year.
The good news is lower fuel prices with E10 as low as 99 cents a litre on the Coast
Central Coast Academy of Sport has put a coronavirus plan in place for all staff and athletes.
“Hand hygiene remains the single best action for reducing risk of acquiring any respiratory or gastrointestinal infection,” the Academy said.
“The Central Coast Academy of Sport will be supplying hand sanitiser to all sports program sessions and has developed an illness etiquette.“
Central Coast supermarkets and small business have been hit by the toilet paper hoarding phenomenon.
As toilet paper shelves continue to empty across the region, mental health expert Professor Bill Brakoulias said there was an evolutionary reason for it.
Prof Brakoulias said behaviors we were seeing in response to COVID-19 were categorised as ‘hoarding’.
“Hoarding behaviors are underpinned by a thought that we might need something in the future,” Prof Brakoulias said.
“Just like squirrels that gather acorns for winter, it is in our human nature to select things and keep them in case we need them for future use.
“When people get anxious, they have what’s called ‘catastrophic cognitions’ – they think of the worst-case scenario – and one way of controlling this anxiety is to collect things and keep things in order to feel safe.”
The state’s peak business organisation, Business NSW, says the State Government must take a bold approach in June’s State Budget to restore confidence and avoid job losses, as the impact of COVID-19 begins to take hold.
Business NSW has formally lodged its Pre-Budget submission with the Government
“With everything the State has confronted — from weak household demand, drought, bushfires and now COVID-19 — we need robust action from the Government to ensure NSW remains the place to do business in Australia,” Business NSW Regional Director Central Coast Paula Martin said.
  • Measures Business NSW is calling on the Government to introduce in the Budget include:
  • Reducing payroll tax to protect employment in the sectors most affected;
  • Deferring payroll tax for SMEs to support business cash flow;
  • Halting any increases in government-related fees and charges for business, including workers compensation premiums.
  • Implementing targeted stimulus for businesses in heavily affected industries such as tourism.
  • Establishing measures to better prepare NSW for future economic shocks.
“The focus of government should be on limiting the impact of government taxes, fees and charges so communities and their local economies can recover sooner,” Ms Martin said.
“Our submission also points to the need to start planning now for the economic recovery and for strategies to help industries, especially tourism, take advantage of the recovery opportunities,” Ms Martin said.
Safework Australia says the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws outline the requirements of business during the coronavirus outbreak.
The laws require a person conducting a business or undertaking to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of their workers and others at the workplace.
This includes providing and maintaining a work environment that is without risk to health and safety.
To comply with the model WHS laws, businesses must identify hazards at the workplace and the associated risks and do what is reasonably practicable to eliminate those risks, or
where this is not reasonably practicable, to minimise those risks.
It says exposure to coronavirus COVID-19 was a potential hazard for workers and other people at workplaces. Businesses must have measures in place to protect worker health and safety and manage these risks.
Depending on the workplace, an appropriate range of actions may include:
  • Closely monitoring official Government sources for current information and advice.
  • Reviewing and promoting your organisation’s policies and measures for infection control.
  • Ensuring workers are aware of the isolation/quarantine periods in accordance with advice from the Australian Government Department of Health. This includes information on when staff should not attend work.
  • Providing clear advice to workers about actions they should take if they become unwell or think they may have the symptoms of coronavirus, in accordance with advice from the Australian Government Department of Health and state or territory health department.
  • Eliminating or minimising international work travel, in line with the travel advice on the Australian Government’s Smartraveller website.
  • Providing regular updates to workers about the situation and any changes to organisational policies or procedures.
  • Contingency planning to manage staff absences.
  • Providing workers with information and links to relevant services should they require support.
Safework Australia said workers also had a duty to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and to not adversely affect the health and safety of others.
Workers should be reminded to always practice good hygiene and other measures to protect themselves and other against infection.
This includes:
  • Washing their hands often, with soap and water, or carrying hand sanitiser and using it as needed.
  • Covering their mouth when coughing or sneezing, but not using their hands to do so.
  • Seeing a health care professional if they start to feel unwell.
  • If unwell, avoiding contact with others (including shaking hands or other touching, such as hugging).
If you are planning to travel overseas for work, please closely monitor the travel advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) on the Smartraveller website for advice.


Michael Walls
P: 0407 783 413

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