Posted on 17. May, 2012 in Victoria

The Baillieu-Ryan Government must act now to stop regional unemployment spiralling out of control after the latest statistics show more than 16,400 full-time jobs were lost in April, Shadow Employment Minister Tim Pallas said today.

Mr Pallas said today’s Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show 16,400 regional jobs were lost in April. This means more than 26,000 full-time regional jobs have been lost since the Baillieu-Ryan Government was elected.

“Regional Victoria is going backwards under Mr Baillieu and National Party leader Peter Ryan,” Mr Pallas said.

“Every month, thousands more regional Victorians lose their jobs while the Baillieu-Ryan Government does nothing to protect jobs – let alone create new ones.

“In fact, the government is actually contributing to the jobs crisis in regional Victoria by shutting down regional government offices as part of the Baillieu Government’s drive to slash 4200 public sector jobs.

“For example, at least direct 400 jobs will be lost in regional towns due to the Baillieu –Ryan Government’s decision to close seven Department of Primary Industry offices. This decision will have flow on effects for local businesses creating even more job losses.”

Mr Pallas said the regional jobs crisis had disproportionately affected women with more than 11,000 women losing full-time work.

“It is unfair that women in regional Victoria are suffering because of this government’s lack of action,” he said.

Mr Pallas said the Baillieu-Ryan Government’s State Budget had delivered no jobs relief.

“Instead, the budget reveals the Government’s aims to facilitate fewer jobs in regional Victoria than in each of the last two years.”

Mr Pallas said latest figures show business confidence across the State had plummeted.

“Trading conditions have slumped significantly in transport, manufacturing and retail. Employment conditions are weakest in the manufacturing, construction and wholesale sectors,” Mr Pallas said.

“The Baillieu-Ryan Government’s budget dumped the First Home Owners Bonus which will hit the construction industry. It also slashed TAFE funding, a reckless and short-term saving that will result in more jobs losses and undermining the region’s long-term productivity.

“Regional Victorian’s deserve better than this.”

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