article source ABC News (AU) title WA ice storm leaves trail of destruction in wake of cold snap article A cold snap that has left some parts of Australia’s north devastated has left the state reeling from the loss of thousands of jobs, the loss the government blames on global warming.
A cold snap has left parts of the state of Western Australia in a state of emergency, with the loss to the economy of between 100,000 and 200,000 jobs, according the ABC.
The loss of jobs to global warming was also the main factor behind the decision by the state to introduce a freeze-out for winter weather, which is set to last for two months.
In total, about 10,000 workers will lose their jobs in the coming weeks, with many more in the long term.
WA’s freeze-outs have caused the closure of more than 100 restaurants, hotels and other businesses, as well as the closure and shutdown of about 500 of WA’s primary schools, according a WA State Government report released on Thursday.
“The ice storm has hit WA hard, but it has also had a knock-on effect on other parts of Western Australian,” WA’s Chief Minister, James Merlino, said.
“Our economy is being impacted, our businesses are being affected, but also the people of Western Australians are impacted.”
There are currently no immediate plans to freeze out restaurants or other businesses in WA, Mr Merlino said.
“That will be up to the businesses and the communities that need to adapt to the changes,” he said.
WA has been hit by a number of cold weather events in recent weeks, including last week’s frostbite, with temperatures hovering around the mid-20s and low 30s.
According to the WA Bureau of Meteorology, the last time it recorded a cold-season was in 1998.
However, this is the first time since the start of the Great Northern Snowfall in 1998 that WA has recorded a freeze out.
A freeze-up is when ice begins to build up in the soil and trees, leading to a dry season.
This has led to many businesses in the state struggling to make ends meet, and has been a major factor in the ongoing budget crisis.
Mr Merlino says WA’s economy is in good shape, but has warned that the downturn will only worsen unless there is a “significant and swift” economic recovery.
Warnings that WA could experience a ‘significant and rapid’ recovery from the freeze-in have led to calls for a $1.2 billion package of funding for businesses and industries affected by the freeze out, the ABC reports.
Earlier this week, the WA Labor government announced it would invest $2.4 billion into its unemployment benefits system, which has been criticised by unions.
In the coming days, Mr Turnbull has also said that WA will not be the only state in the nation to be hit by the freezing-out.
He has also pledged to introduce “freezing-in measures” across WA in the next 12 months.
More to come.