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Hollow call from Federal Treasurer on loss of jobs.

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Senator John Cherry Australian Democrats Employment & Employment Services Spokesperson th 20 May, 2003 MEDIA RELEASE 03/346

Hollow call from Federal Treasurer on loss of jobs

Today’s call from the Federal Treasurer for individual companies to explain their decisions to shed jobs is sheer hypocrisy, when you consider that he gave nothing for the unemployed in last week’s Budget, according to the Australian Democrats.

“With the Commonwealth Bank confirming it would cut about 1,600 jobs, Treasurer Costello said he had ‘a great deal of feeling for them’ despite this Government continuing to fail to provide economic security to Australians,” said Democrats’ Employment spokesperson Senator John Cherry.

“Last month Qantas announced a restructuring that would involve 1,700 positions including 1,000 redundancies and hundreds of other jobs being converted from full-time to part-time.

“Yesterday the Senate Communications References Committee heard evidence on Telstra staffing, when CEPU National President Colin Cooper reported that the Union has been told that between 400 and 500 jobs will be cut over the next year, despite the massive workload its staff is dealing with.

“It’s time for the Federal Treasurer to put into practice his sentiments for retrenched workers, and initiate job creation programs. This Government needs to get serious about funding community jobs in the public sector as well as encouraging job creation in the private sector.

“It’s a hollow call to express sympathy for people who are losing their livelihood when unemployment, which should have been Peter Costello’s first priority in his Budget, was not addressed,” Senator Cherry concluded.

Media contact: Pam Hose 0408 752 750