Several companies in Australia, including resorts, factories and insurance firms, have been reportedly hit as the summer’s devastating bushfires continue to rage.
With fires ripping through millions of hectares of land in New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria, thousands of buildings and infrastructures had lost mobile signals and electricity.
The hazardous smoke haze blanketing some key cities like Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne does not only pose health issues but has also led to the reduction of national economic productivity by around $500 million.
Property company Aspen Group, which owns tourist parks, said that the bushfire and holiday have converged, forcing most tourists and residents to stay away from the affected regions. Thus, it expects a hit of at least A$500,000 to its income.
“Fire activity along the NSW south coast has been catastrophic with significant loss of life, housing and infrastructure… It is not known when trading conditions will return to normal,” he added.
Paul van Heerwaarden, the chief executive of Australia’s largest dairy processor “Bega Cheese” said the fires had not left severe impacts on its facilities but unfortunately harmed some of its suppliers.
“We are working closely with our employees, dairy farm suppliers and freight providers to ensure milk can be delivered and processed,” he said.
Meanwhile, real estate and agricultural firm Vitalharvest Freehold Trust said the raging fires damaged its berry farms’ shed, equipment and vehicles. He added that the total cost of the damage is yet to be assessed.
Economists say that cost to the Australian economy of the wildfires has already reached approximately $2 billion and counting with around 6,000 insurance claims being lodged since November last year as reported by the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA).