Gippsland loses country jobs under Labor

Unemployment in regional Victoria is rising sharply under the Andrews Labor Government and Gippsland Nationals MPs are concerned nothing is being done about it.

Member for Morwell Russell Northe said the latest Bureau of Statistics data showed regional Victoria shed 6,200 jobs this month, including 3,000 full-time jobs.

“Regional Victoria has lost 10,100 full-time jobs since Labor took office in December last year,” Mr Northe said.

“The abolishment of the highly successful Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund (LVIIF) has added extra pressure on those looking for a job.

“The recent unemployment figures prove Labor’s decision to cut this successful job creating program was ludicrous.

“The LVIIF supported more than 40 businesses and leveraged close to $100 million in investment, creating 1200 jobs in our community.”

Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien said before the election Daniel Andrews promised 100,000 full-time jobs within two years.

“Despite almost a year in office, Labor has failed to fund a single project through its own Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This is failing our local economy and Gippsland is paying the price.”

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said the latest unemployment figures showing 2,800 full time workers in Gippsland had joined the dole queue in recent months was very concerning.

“Labor’s first budget since coming to office has seen funding to regional Victoria slashed in many areas, including economic development, roads, tourism and agriculture, but there has been no bigger cut than the Coalition’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund which funded local projects and drove jobs in regional Victoria,” Mr Bull said

Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath said Daniel Andrews’ Back to Work program had also been a dud for Gippslanders.

“It’s been revealed that in its first three months of operation only 164 Victorians were employed full-time or part-timer under this program,” Ms Bath said.

“When you look at the map of where these jobs were located there are red dots all over Melbourne and its outer suburbs while Gippsland again is left bare.”

Ms Bath said regional Victorians were being disadvantaged under the Andrews Labor Government.

“I know this may sound like we are just talking a lot of numbers but we are not; these numbers are real people, real families.

“We’ve had a grand final parade day holiday which cost the state’s economy $1.2 billion, we’ve seen the decimation of the regional infrastructure budget with just 2.7 per cent of Victoria’s infrastructure budget being spent in regional Victoria and we have seen huge increases in the fire services levy.

“There is no doubt country people are suffering under this Andrews Labor Government.”