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Devonport Keep Australia Working forum to develop jobs strategy.

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Senator the Hon Mark Arbib

Minister for Employment Participation 15 July, 2009

Joint Media Release

Devonport Keep Australia Working forum to develop jobs strategy

Joint Media Release with Jason Clare MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Employment

Community leaders, business representatives and job service providers will join the Rudd Government to develop a regional employment strategy for North West/Northern Tasmania.

Minister for Employment Participation, Senator Mark Arbib, said the second Keep Australia Working forum, held today in Devonport, would allow the community to maximise the benefits of the Government’s Economic Stimulus Plan and Jobs Fund.

“Keep Australia Working is designed to ensure communities have the opportunity to develop localised responses to the impact of the global recession in their area,” Senator Arbib said.

“We want to find job opportunities for local businesses and workers, particularly in areas where unemployment is a growing problem.”

Parliamentary Secretary for Employment, Jason Clare, said Local Jobs Champions, Lindsay Fox and Bill Kelty, would help forum participants to identify local skill and labour needs and develop directions for the future.

“It’s great to have Lindsay Fox and Bill Kelty on board. Few people understand the Australian economy better than these blokes. They will travel with us around the country helping areas hit hardest by the global recession,” Mr Clare said.

Forums are being rolled out in employment priority areas across Australia as recommended in the Keep Australia Working interim report presented last week to Deputy Prime Minister Gillard by Senator Arbib and Mr Clare.

There are now 20 employment priority areas around the country:

• North West/Northern Tasmania • South Eastern Melbourne (Victoria) • North Western Melbourne (Victoria) • Ballarat-Bendigo (Central Victoria) • North Eastern Victoria

• Canterbury Bankstown and South Western Sydney (New South Wales) • Illawarra (New South Wales) • Richmond-Tweed and Clarence Valley (New South Wales) • Mid North Coast (New South Wales) • Sydney-West and Blue Mountains (New South Wales) • Central Coast-Hunter (New South Wales) • Ipswich-Logan (Queensland) • Cairns (Queensland) • Townsville-Thuringowa (Queensland) • Caboolture-Sunshine Coast (Queensland) • Southern Wide Bay-Burnett (Queensland) • Bundaberg-Hervey Bay (Queensland) • Northern and western Adelaide (South Australia) • Port Augusta-Whyalla-Port Pirie (South Australia) • South-West Perth (Western Australia)

The 20 priority areas were identified based on an analysis of labour market indicators which show whether a region is likely to experience labour market disadvantage now or in the future.

A Local Employment Coordinator is appointed in each Priority Employment Area to develop an employment strategy in partnership with the community.

For more information visit the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations' Keep Australia Working website.


Snap Shot of North-West/Northern Tasmania Priority Employment Area

• Almost 140,000 people live in the region. • Unemployment in North West/Northern Tasmania is 4.8 per cent (May 2009) compared to 5.8 per cent national (seasonally adjusted, as at 9 July 2009). • Unemployment is rising and unemployed people in North West/Northern Tasmania

remain unemployed for longer — on average 48 weeks (compared to the Australian average of 28 weeks). • The region relies heavily on manufacturing (particularly mineral processing) which accounts for about 13 per cent of employment. • There have been more than 1600 reported redundancies during the past year,

particularly in the manufacturing, mining and engineering and property and business services sectors. • North West/Northern Tasmania has been allocated about $180 million in funding under the Rudd Government’s Nation Building Plan:

o 222 projects across 120 schools ($148 million) o Construction of 19 houses and repairs to 322 social housing units ($6.7 million) o 151 community infrastructure projects ($21 million) o 33 black spot road projects ($4.4 million). • The North West/Northern Tasmania Priority Employment Area includes the Councils

and Municipalities of Burnie, Central Coast, Circular Head, Devonport, Dorset,

George Town, Kentish, Latrobe, Launceston, Waratah/Wynyard, West Coast and West Tamar.

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