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People in country areas ignored in Hawke employment statement



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BRUCE LLOYD

Media Release For further information; Parliament House, Telephone: 66/2774193

Canberra ACT 2600 Facsimile: 06/2772053

PEO PLE IM COUNTRY AREAS IGNORED I N HAWKE EMPLOYMENT STATEMENT

People in rural and regional areas have been forgotten by the Prime Minister, according to National Party Deputy Leader and Shadow Minister for Primary Industry, Bruce Lloyd.

Mr Lloyd said Mr Hawke's statement on "The Economy and Employment" has done nothing to improve the economy or job prospects for people in the bush.

He said there is nothing in the statement to reduce costs to farms and other businesses to help them become more competitive and therefore able to expand and employ more people.

"This is despite the fact that it is now known that for the first time in the history of Australia the farming community will have a negative income with costs outstripping returns by hundreds of millions of dollars.

"The Government is simply throwing another $300 million into benefits and training for the growing number of unemployed and some

infrastructure projects which, if like previous projects such as "The Better Cities", will not be noticeable in the country.

"This extra Government expenditure will ensure that interest rates stay higher than they otherwise would as the budget deficit blows out.

Mr Lloyd said not only does the Prime Minister do nothing to create long-term jobs but he completely misses out on developing the opportunities that are already there.

"Mr Hawke completely ignored the timber and pulp industries which are ready to invest and create jobs in regional areas if they can be given assurances that Governments will not take away their resource.

"Almost half of the 1200 saw mills in Australia want to invest money, create jobs and add value to wood, but Mr Hawke has ignored them. Several pulp mills would also be underway with the right policies.

"If Mr Hawke was serious about creating jobs he would have given the nation a blueprint for the future.

"He would have announced that the projects in timber, mining and industries which have been stalled by the Greens and other vested interest had been given the go-ahead and this would have cost the country nothing."

"It seems the Hawke Government has decided that it will not win any votes in the country and has therefore undertaken the cynical exercise of ignoring them," Mr Lloyd said.

end 14/11/91