Building A Strong Local Economy To Create Jobes & Opportunities For All (31/01/2013)

Hydromet_IRIIF_visit_02_April_12_022.jpgOur Values and Achievements

Nationally the task of Labor in government is to build a strong yet fair economy. We are doing this: through record investment in rail, roads, ports and communications infrastructure; by creating the conditions for business to grow and; by instilling fairness in our workplaces.

Labor steered our economy through the worst of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.  While other countries saw unemployment skyrocket, here we focused keeping our people in work. Despite the tough times, we’ve created more than 800,000 new jobs created since Labor was first elected.  Low unemployment at around 5 per cent and growth of 4% and low government debt makes us the envy of the world.  The resources boom is delivering for our national economy – the challenge is how we spread the benefits to the place where we live.

Locally we need a strong, resilient economy that ensures that the Illawarra is not just a great place to live but also a secure and prosperous place to work – now and into the future.  Our children deserve the opportunity to stay and work in the region that they grow up, in if they chose to.

While our national economy is doing well and we are heading in the right direction, here we are dealing with the impact of the high Australian dollar on manufacturing and tourism. Shoppers are also changing their behavior by spending less money in our shops and on the credit cards and more time looking for bargains online.  This presents new challenges and opportunities for our economy.

I have worked hard to get assistance as the region makes the transition:

  • National Broadband Network is coming to the Illawarra earlier and faster than any other region;
  • Illawarra Investment Fund $30 million of industry funding is already attracting new industries and creating hundreds of new job opportunities;
  • Labor Market Assistance Fund $10 million fund for workers who were directly affected by Bluescope and related job losses;
  • Maldon-Dombarton investment – $25.4 million of engineering and pre-construction work funded by the Commonwealth this year;
  • Jobs & Skills Opportunities working with local stakeholders and businesses to bring the jobs & skills expo to our region and facilitate FIFO and other work opportunities.