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Monday, 9 February 2015
Page: 271


(Question Nos 578, 579, 581 and 582)

Mr Kelvin Thomson asked the Minister representing the Minister for Employment, in writing, on 14 November 2014:

(1) Is the Minister aware that unemployment in the City of Moreland, Melbourne, increased from 6.8 per cent in September 2013 to 8.0 per cent in June 2014.(2) Is the Minister aware that since the 2013 change of government, unemployment in the City of Moreland suburb of Coburg, has risen from 8.5 per cent to 10 per cent, and that unemployment in the City of Moreland suburbs of Brunswick and Fawkner, has also climbed by around 1.5 per cent to be 9 per cent.(3) What action is the Government taking to reverse the rising trend in unemployment in the City of Moreland.

Mr Pyne: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) and (2). Yes. The Minister can advise that he has not received any representations from the Honourable Member on this matter.

The Minister also notes that while historical Small Area Labour Market data at the LGA level are only available back to December 2012, the unemployment rate in the two ABS Statistical Area Level 4 (SA4s) within which the City of Moreland falls (Melbourne - Inner and Melbourne - North West) increased significantly over the period November 2007 to September 2013 (up by 3.2 percentage points to 6.6 per cent and 3.1 percentage points to 7.0 per cent, respectively). Further, over the period September 2013 to October 2014, the unemployment rate in Melbourne - Inner has increased by 0.1 percentage point to stand at 6.7 per cent, while the unemployment rate in Melbourne - North West has remained steady, at 7.0 per cent. It is also noted that the Honourable Member did not express any concern under the former government where the unemployment rate almost doubled.

(3). It is clear that some Australian regions are currently experiencing difficult labour market conditions, which is why the Government will be increasing employment opportunities right across the country by:

rolling out the nation's biggest infrastructure program to strengthen the economy and create thousands of jobs;

implementing free-trade agreements with China, Korea and Japan, which will add billions to the economy, create jobs and drive higher living standards for Australians;

returning the budget to surplus to support a positive investment climate;

abolishing the Carbon Tax and Mining Tax;

cutting red tape and reducing the impact of regulation on business; and

streamlining environmental approvals and removing unnecessary green tape.

The Government is also implementing a range of other measures to help job seekers move into work. Young job seekers aged 18 to 30 will benefit from the Job Commitment Bonus which will provide up to $6,500 to eligible job seekers if they get and keep a job for 24 months and remain off income support. Unemployed Australians who move to take up a job will benefit from the new Relocation Assistance which will provide up to $6,000 to eligible job seekers who relocate to a regional area, and up to $3,000 for eligible job seekers who relocate to a metropolitan area. Families with dependent children will also be eligible for up to a further $3,000 to meet the costs of relocating to take up a job. Older job seekers and employers will benefit from the Seniors Employment Incentive Payment which will provide up to $3,250 to employers to hire eligible workers 50 years of age or over.

The Government recognises that job creation needs to be matched by measures that ensure that job seekers have the skills employers need, which is why it has announced changes to employment services which commence in July 2015. These changes will reinvigorate employment services for job seekers and employers and deliver a system that is more responsive and focused on results. Combined with reforms to vocational education and training, job seekers will be work ready, ensuring that Australia's workforce is skilled and flexible.