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600+ join local dole queues in one year.

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600+ Join Local Dole Queues In One Year Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Source: Paul Neville MP

Bundaberg’s dole queues have topped 3,000 people for four months in a row, a phenomenon not seen in the city since 2005 and a real cause for concern according to local Federal Member Paul Neville.

In the month of May there were 3,086 people receiving either NewStart or Youth Allowance payments from Centrelink, and while the figure shows a drop of 47 people from the previous month, it is 661 people more than just a year ago.

Mr Neville said while he welcomed the monthly fall, the overall trend for the region’s Centrelink figures was not positive.

“While the month-to-month comparison shows a reduction, it’s the overall trend we have to watch to be able to gauge the impact of Government policies on jobseekers and their families,” he said.

“In May last year there were 2,425 people claiming Centrelink benefits through the Bundaberg office, and within the space of 12 months it has climbed to 3,086 people. All those extra people are the living legacy of the Government’s poor economic management and addiction to wild spending on the nation’s credit card.

“The figures show the fragile nature of the Wide Bay Burnett area in tough economic times. In the period leading up to the 2007 election we seemed to have been climbing out of endemic unemployment, but figures since then show we are certainly not out of the woods.

“The real litmus test of local employment is the longterm outcome. Bundaberg’s annual comparisons show that under the Coalition Government unemployment fell, while under Labor it is climbing slowly but surely.”

Bundaberg’s May jobseeker figures since 1996 are:

(change of government in March 1996) 1996 - 5,632 1997 - 5,330 1998 - 5,230 1999 - 4,777 2000 - 4,316 2001 - 4,124 2002 - 3,557 2003 - 3,671 2004 - 3,249 2005 - 2,907 2006 - 2,816 2007 - 2,591 (change of government in November 07) 2008 - 2,425 2009 - 3,086