Coronavirus timing ‘couldn’t be worse’: NSW Treasurer
The coronavirus will have a significant impact on the local economy with NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet warning it could wipe a "third of a percentage point" off the state's economic growth.
Mr Perrottet said the coronavirus outbreak was having an effect on University enrolments with many Chinese students unable to take up their positions.
"The timing particularly with the start of the university semester couldn't be worse," he said.
He said the detrimental effect to tourism in NSW caused by coronavirus travel bans, coupled with the impact from the bushfires, drought and floods in NSW would have a negative effect on the economy.
"It is early days in respect of the economic impact of the coronavirus in NSW,'' Mr Perrottet told Sharri Markson on her program on Sky News.
"I think the eastern seaboard state is more broadly affected particularly with our reliance on educational export and our trading relationship with China.
Mr Perrottet said he had recently met with the vice chancellors of the universities in NSW regarding any assistance they may require.
"Obviously they are working through the challenges they face,'' he said.
"We probably expect a reduction in our economic growth by a third of a percentage point to two thirds and obviously in circumstance where we have had drought and fires that is going to be significant.
"But let's not forget here that the NSW economy is incredibly resilient and strong,'' Mr Perrottet said.
Mr Perrottet said the triple whammy of the coronavirus, bushfires and drought had the potential to wipe out the $700 million projected budget surplus for NSW.
"We are going to put people before numbers here," he said.
"My pure focus at the moment as we start the budget preparation is to ensure we have as much support on the ground as possible.
"We don't run surpluses in NSW for the sake of it.
"We run surpluses and have strong financial management so we can provide the support where it is needed," said.