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Unemployment rate hides regional disparity.

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Unemployment Rate Hides Regional Disparity Cheryl Kernot - Shadow Minister for Employment and Training

Media Statement - 8 June 2000

"Today's small reduction in the unemployment rate, although welcome, will be of little comfort to the 295 areas of Australia still suffering double digit unemployment," Cheryl Kernot, Shadow Minister for Employment and Training, said today.

"Today's result, which shows an average rate of 6.7% in Australia, masks the reality that unemployment is still extremely high in many parts of the country, including:

Nambucca in the seat of Cowper at 14.5%, ● Bundaburg in the seat of Hinkler at 14.4%, ● Byron in the seat of Richmond at 19.7% and ● Eurobodalla in the seat of Eden Monaro at 17.3%. ●

The average unemployment rate does not show the fact that unemployment has actually risen in much of regional and rural Australia, according to recent figures.

"A total of 3 in 4 of the surveyed areas experienced a rise in unemployment, and many of these are on the outskirts of our major cities, in regional towns and in rural areas.

"There is no doubt that the looming GST will make things even worse, with many businesses experiencing a great deal of uncertainty over how they will cope with the paperwork emanating from the new tax.

"Family farms will be especially hard hit as the Government turns each of them into tax collection points.

"The GST will not aid employment growth one bit, and it will do nothing to address the growing divide between areas of Australia that are experiencing economic and jobs growth and those that have been passed by.

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.