Twiggy sends video of support to Beijing as warnings sound on WA economy

Twiggy sends video of support to Beijing as warnings sound on WA economy

“Over thousand of years you are resilient and strong and wonderful people.

“I want you to know that Australia and Australian people stand with you.

“We have seen each other through crises before, we have seen each other through ups and downs. But a friend in need is a friend indeed. And Australia is your friend and Australians stand with Chinese people like I stand with you.

“We will get through the virus, we will get through other challenges and we will always be the firmest of great friends.”

Premier Mark McGowan had also send messages of support to the consulate.

“Please allow me to bring my sympathies to all Chinese people,” he said, according to the consulate website.

“I hope that the virus can be contained ASAP and I hope that WA-China cooperation in tourism, culture as well as economy and trade can recover soon.”

Mr Forrest last week announced he was increasing his stake in FMG with the purchase of an extra 22 million shares in the company he founded for an outlay of $249 million.

Shares in Fortescue had fallen on the back of mounting concerns about the impact of coronavirus on the Chinese economy, the company’s principal market.

FMG’s share price had fallen 12 per cent against Friday’s close in mid-morning trading on Monday.

On Sunday, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA’s chief economist Aaron Morey warned of escalating cost impacts of the coronavirus on WA.

Premier Mark McGowan in a video message of support during Lunar New Year celebrations.Credit:Consulate of China in Perth

He said the evolving response of governments pointed to a longer run of disruption for business and predicted travel restrictions and trade disruptions would put continuing pressure on the state’s businesses.

“Our analysis of the first six months of 2020 indicates a $250 million to $300 million economic impact from coronavirus in WA, with more 2000 jobs put at risk,” Mr Morey said.

“New information emerging from business leads us to expect that to be revised upwards as soon as next week.

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However, Mr Morey said stability in state government finances and recent cuts to payroll tax meant WA was well positioned to withstand economic headwinds.

The spot price of iron ore was still above long-term forecasts factored into the state budget, although the latest data from China indicating the impact of coronavirus could have a bigger negative impact on the country’s economy than the Global Financial Crisis.

Factory activity in China contracted at the fastest pace ever in February, with the official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) falling to a record low.

According to the post on the consulate’s website, Chinese and Australian staff based in Cape Preston at the CITIC Pacific Sino Iron Project chanted: “Stay strong Wuhan! Stay strong China! We are all with you!”

Nathan is WAtoday’s political reporter and the winner of the 2019 Arthur Lovekin Prize for Excellence in Journalism.

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