Lib’s 50 day tour starts next week

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News - BY SHANE DOUTHIE sd­[email protected] ne­me­

A SHORT­AGE of skilled and un­skilled labour in the elec­torate of Indi is one of the most com­mon is­sues raised with Lib­eral can­di­date for Indi Steven Martin (pic­tured) since he was en­dorsed in De­cem­ber.

Mr Martin will com­mence an epic 50 towns in 50 days tour of the elec­torate in Myrtle­ford on Jan­uary 18 to re­ceive more feed­back from vot­ers on the is­sues that mat­ter most to them.

“I chose Myrtle­ford as it is close to the geo­graphic cen­tre of Indi,” Mr Martin said.

“Dur­ing the vis­its I will be com­plet­ing a range of ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing set­ting up lis­ten­ing posts, con­sult­ing with lo­cal busi­nesses, meet­ing with lo­cal coun­cils, vis­it­ing health ser­vices, speak­ing with sport­ing clubs and at­tend­ing com­mu­nity events.

“I am a strong be­liever that lo­cal peo­ple will shape the fu­ture of this re­gion, and if I am elected as the lo­cal mem­ber for Indi I will be ab­so­lutely fo­cused on sup­port­ing com­mu­nity ini­tia­tives and mak­ing it eas­ier for lo­cal busi­nesses to do what they do best.

“Good gov­ern­ment cre­ates the fer­tile ground in which busi­nesses and com­mu­ni­ties can thrive.”

He said he had al­ready re­ceived feed­back from lo­cal busi­nesses on how they are strug­gling to get the right peo­ple in their work­force.

“It’s not about re­plac­ing lo­cal peo­ple in jobs but bring­ing peo­ple in for spe­cific roles such as chefs or agri­cul­ture work­ers that we don’t have the lo­cal peo­ple for,” Mr Martin said.

“When we’ve got less than four per cent un­em­ploy­ment in the Hume re­gion it cre­ates stress for busi­nesses.

“Wel­fare de­pen­dency is at a 30 year low and that re­flects that the Lib­eral party poli­cies are work­ing.

“That said I think there is al­ways more to be done on mak­ing sure we can re­duce the bar­ri­ers for peo­ple en­ter­ing the work­force.

“Hav­ing a job is such an im­por­tant thing for peo­ple’s well­be­ing, and I am pas­sion­ate that the health, ed­u­ca­tion and jobs net­works are pro­vid­ing the right sup­port needed to get peo­ple into work.”

He said he would re­view the tour sched­ule week by week to al­low some flex­i­bil­ity.

Af­ter Myrtle­ford the first stage of the tour will then head to Yarck on Jan­uary 19, Be­nalla Jan­uary 20, Eskdale Jan­uary 21, Glen­rowan Jan­uary 22, Walwa Jan­uary 23 and Falls Creek Jan­uary 24.

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