Following the announcement of a Local Planning Committee for jobs across the South Coast, Shadow Minister for Regional Services, Stephen Jones, hit back at the Government for taking eight months to announce a small step towards taking action to address unemployment in the south coast region.

“A committee is not a plan for jobs,” said Mr Jones.


“It’s taken eight months since the July Federal election when the South Coast was promised this Package just to get their Committee announced. That’s pretty slow progress.”


“Regrettably, the Minister for Regional Development seems to think the problem with unemployment stops at the Minnamurra river, but by excluding the Wollongong and Shellharbour areas from the jobs plan, these areas are left swinging in the breeze.”


“Shellharbour is the location of the Illawarra Airport – one of the greatest economic assets of the region with the capacity to drive job creation. 


“I’m happy that Labor’s Jobs Forums being held in Albion Park and Nowra with Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Brendan O’Connor today have spurred the local member into some action.”


“Let’s hope it doesn’t take another eight months for the money to flow to job creation. The people across the South Coast want to know when this Committee will get to work to help create tangible jobs for people in the community.”


“Youth unemployment in the Shoalhaven is over 18 per cent, the eighth highest in Australia, compared to the national youth unemployment rate of 12.2 per cent for 15-24 year olds,” continued Mr Jones.


“Getting a job in Gilmore is over three times more difficult than in Malcolm Turnbull’s electorate. While unemployment in Gilmore is 6.7 per cent , unemployment in Wentworth is just two per cent.”


“People that live in Nowra, St Georges Basin and Erowal Bay are facing double the national average unemployment.”


“Just like the Rural Fire Service says, planning to make a plan is not a plan.”