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ANZ boss explains why COVID-19 could ultimately be a ‘good thing’ for our economy

He admits the coming months are going to be “dreadful” for a lot of people, but ANZ chief Shayne Elliott says he’s optimistic the impact of COVID-19 on Australia’s economy will be a “good thing” long-term.

As long as those who need financial help get it.

Mr Elliott told Neil Mitchell the coronavirus had forced businesses and their employees to learn new skills.

“We’re all getting used to being agile and flexing with change and that – I don’t mean to make light of it – is actually, in a funny way, a good thing,” he said.

He said COVID-19 had fast-tracked many existing pre-coronavirus trends, such as digitalisation, flexible hours and working from home.

“All of those things were trends that were already in place, actually, but they’ve just accelerated like crazy in a period of a few months,”

“There’s obviously going to be a severe impact on some and that’s dreadful and what we’ve got to do is figure out how we protect those people from harm, but most of those changes are probably good things for the long term and will make Australia and Victoria more productive and contemporary, in terms of skills we need to create a better future for our children.

“But we’ve got to make sure we look after those that are really struggling through this period.”

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