A media release issued today by Member for Gilmore Fiona Phillips insists that the Morrison Government must start funding local shovel-ready projects across the South Coast to help stimulate the economy and create local jobs now, .
The member said "Yesterday’s job figures are the worst on record, with unemployment across the country at 6.2 per cent and youth unemployment at 13.8 per cent.
"The ABS has estimated that 600,000 people lost their jobs last month, but these figures likely mask the frightening reality, with people on the JobKeeper Payment excluded."
Mrs Phillips said these figures will no doubt be significantly higher across the South Coast, given the double hit of bushfires and COVID-19, on top of what was already some of the highest unemployment and youth unemployment rates in the country.
“Even before this horror year, our region had the highest youth unemployment rate in NSW. We now have an indication of what COVID-19 has done to workers across the country and history shows us it will be much worse for the South Coast,” Fiona Phillips said.
The Gilmore MP has called on the government to urgently invest in local projects such as the Kiama Arts Precinct, the Currarong Road, the Mogo Trail Adventure Hub, mental health in-patients beds in the new Eurobodalla Hospital and upgrades for the Princes Highway saying " There is also still a long way to go on bushfire recovery, with hundreds of destroyed bridges, buildings and infrastructure that need rebuilding. Employing local contractors and helping local councils with this work would also have a huge impact."
“I have been calling on the government to provide stimulus to our local area since the bushfires began. We need more jobs now and the government needs to get moving to address the dire economic shock we are experiencing”, Fiona Phillips said.
“We know with such a large tourism industry, and straight on the back of the bushfires, our region will be impacted more than most. We have hundreds of workers left out of the government’s rescue packages and it’s just not good enough,”
“I don’t want to see our region fall behind because the government chose not to fund our local projects,” Mrs Phillips said.