High­est rate of un­em­ployed

Isis Town and Country - - News -

THE Wide Bay area is in a job cri­sis and our politi­cians were point­ing the fin­ger at each other.

Fig­ures from the Aus­tralian Bureau of Sta­tis­tics were re­leased stat­ing the Wide Bay had the high­est re­gional un­em­ploy­ment rate in the na­tion, sit­ting at an av­er­age of 10.5% in the past 12 months.

Mem­ber for Bur­nett Stephen Ben­nett said the lat­est fig­ures were dis­ap­point­ing and re­flec­tive of lo­cal Mem­ber for Bund­aberg Leanne Don­ald­son’s lack of plan­ning for the re­gion.

“It has been nine months since the elec­tion and the lo­cal Mem­ber for Bund­aberg has failed to de­liver any projects to cre­ate more jobs in this area,” Mr Ben­nett said.

“Can Leanne Don­ald­son name one project that she has de­liv­ered for Bund­aberg?”

But Ms Don­ald­son said that, de­spite the Wide Bay hav­ing the worst un­em­ploy­ment rate in the na­tion, things had im­proved.

“The rate of un­em­ploy­ment was 11.4% this time last year, it has de­creased to 10.5%,” she said.

“In the Wide Bay, 2200 jobs have been cre­ated in the past 12 months.

“It is a shame the Mem­ber for Bur­nett con­tin­u­ally paints our re­gion in a neg­a­tive light. I have con­tin­u­ally asked him to work with me to work for our com­mu­nity but this falls on deaf ears as he is more in­ter­ested in scor­ing cheap po­lit­i­cal points than work­ing con­struc­tively lo­cally.”

NewsMail Face­book read­ers vented their frus­tra­tion about Bund­aberg’s lack of em­ploy­ment.

“Peo­ple can’t get jobs if there isn’t any jobs, that’s the ma­jor prob­lem,” Jes­sica Ann Sul­li­van com­mented.

“It’s been like this for 30 years,” Ju­dith Hopwood said.

Fed­eral Mem­ber for Hin­kler Keith Pitt said re­duc­ing un­em­ploy­ment took time and was not some­thing that could be achieved overnight.

“I understand there are sev­eral chal­lenges to gain­ing em­ploy­ment in the Hin­kler elec­torate, in­clud­ing a lack of job va­can­cies and a high num­ber of ap­pli­cants,” he said.

Mr Pitt said a range of mea­sures to help job­seek­ers stand out in what was a highly com­pet­i­tive mar­ket had been in­tro­duced.

“Through Work for the Dole, the Na­tional Work Ex­pe­ri­ence Pro­gram and Green Army, job­seek­ers are learn­ing im­por­tant skills while con­tribut­ing to their com­mu­ni­ties,” he said.

“The 2015 Bud­get in­cludes $330 mil­lion for a Youth Em­ploy­ment Strat­egy to help young peo­ple tran­si­tion from school to work.

“Young job­seek­ers who find a job and stay off wel­fare for 12 months will re­ceive a job com­mit­ment bonus of $2500, and a fur­ther $4000 at 24 months.”

PHOTO: MICHAELA O’NEILL/181407

WORK SEARCH: Jobs are few and far be­tween in the Wide Bay area.

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