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Government at employment crossroads.

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Senator Natasha Stott Despoja Deputy Parliamentary Leader and Senator for South Australia Australian Democrats spokesperson for Employment

Press Release Dated: 6 Apr 2000 Press Release Number: 00187nsd Portfolio: Employment Related: Welfare and Community


Government at employment crossroads The rise in unemployment in March highlights the need for the Government to take a more integrated approach to employment creation and jobseeker assistance, says Australian Democrats Employment Spokesperson, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja.

Senator Stott Despoja has responded to today’s Australian Bureau of Statistics employment figures for March.

“While my home State of South Australia has recorded a fall in unemployment from its low point last month, I am concerned that the rest of the nation has recorded a rise.

“The release of the McClure paper on welfare reform presents the Government with a crucial choice.

“It can continue to scapegoat and stereotype jobseekers as ‘job snobs’ - the favourite phrase of the Minister for Employment Services, Tony Abbott - or it can take the constructive approach outlined in the report by providing targeted assistance to help the growing number of long-term unemployed people.

“The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Jocelyn Newman, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Trish Worth MP, have both indicated they prefer the latter approach.

“It remains to be seen whether the Minister for Employment and Employment Services will recognise that employment growth under this Government has not been a result of its policies, but of sustained economic growth.

“This growth has not carried everyone with it, and there are still 651,000 jobseekers, a growing number of whom have been unemployed for over a year.

“The increase in interest rates announced by the Reserve Bank yesterday

will not assist employment growth. With employment growth in Sydney outflanking the rest of the country, the Reserve Bank must consider the high unemployment rates in other labour markets.

“Economic growth is vital for employment growth, and Government policy even more so. The Government and Reserve Bank have the chance to improve job prospects for thousands of Australians. The next few months will reveal whether they have.”


Top | Email Authorised by: Jim Downey, 10 Brisbane Avenue, Barton ACT 2604. Copyright © 2000 Australian Democrats Last modified: Thu, 09 Mar 2000 14:37:46 Today: Mon, 10 Apr 2000 11:35:35