Highest rate of unemployed
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.”
WORK SEARCH: Jobs are few and far between in the Wide Bay area.