ELECTION: Federal candidates reveal plans for employment
WITH Wide Bay and Hinkler having some of the most unenviable jobless rates in the country, employment is one of the hot topics that will decide who will hold the regional seats.
The Chronicle asked the following questions of your candidates:
1. The region's unemployment rates have finally started taking a positive turn but are still are among the highest in Australia. What mistakes can we learn from and what is the first step in ensuring job rates continue to improve?
2. What do you see as the biggest challenges the region is facing when it comes to unemployment?
3. What is your plan to bring direct jobs to the region?
4. Do you believe that local employment training matches the skillset of our industries, eg manufacturing, tourism, aged care. What would you like to see happen in this space?
5. The Fraser Coast has a large number of employment service providers. What is being done/should be done to ensure they are meeting the needs of the jobless population?
6. How can we build on manufacturing opportunities like the munitions factory in Maryborough and aero factory in Hervey Bay? Do you have a plan for attracting investment into the Hinkler/Wide Bay?
7. Where do you see the Fraser Coast fitting into the renewable energy space? eg electric cars, solar farms.
8. Do you think there are industries that don't have a place on the Fraser Coast? (topical industries include mining and hardwood milling)
9. What impact do you think the Cashless Debit Card will have on our jobless rate and the social climate of the region?
10. If elected would you support the continuation of the cashless card in Hinkler or its rollout in Wide Bay?
Keith Pitt, LNP
1. Attracting businesses to the region will mean more local jobs. The Hinkler Regional Deal will see millions invested in vital infrastructure projects which will make doing business here much easier. Several projects funded through the Regional Jobs and Investment Program have begun construction and some are nearing completion which will increase job numbers locally.
2. Ensuring that people are work ready and willing to take what is offered to them. There is help available - the Youth PaTH program, Transition to Work, Employment First Aid - people should utilise these services to increase their chances of employment.
3. The Coalition Government has invested millions of dollars into job creating projects in the Hinkler electorate through the Building Better Regions Fund, Regional Growth Fund, the Regional Jobs and Investment Program and of course, the Hinkler Regional Deal.
4. A recent course which graduated from Impact had almost everyone employed before they finished which is fantastic to see. I'd like to see more apprenticeships and traineeships in Hinkler, but available federal funding for this is being intentionally stopped by the Queensland State Labor Government
5. The Government's jobactive program has seen almost 1.3 million job placements since July 2015. But we want to see even more people in Hinkler enter meaningful long term work, which is why the Government has announced the most extensive shake-up of employment services in 20 years. It will empower job seekers who are job-ready and prioritise support for those who face the greatest barriers.
6. The Hinkler Regional Deal will invest $173 million into the electorate and as well as supporting projects like the redevelopment at Hervey Bay airport and CBD development at Hervey Bay, it will see infrastructure built to attract more business. The recent announcement of the aero factory was as a direct result of Building Better Regions funding of the airport industrial park.
7. There are several solar farms in the region. Our focus has always been on reliability and affordability.
8. Business decides where it invests in consultation with government. If we want more jobs we must do everything we can to attract local investment.
9. The Cashless Debit Card ensures that welfare payments are used for the necessities of life: rent, bills, groceries and clothing. It is a tough but necessary social policy and I hope to see similar positive results in Hinkler as seen in the other trial sites.
10. Yes. The rollout is progressing well and I look forward to seeing the results from the trial here.
Richard Pascoe, ALP
Job creation is one of the most important issues in this upcoming election. With unemployment figures, especially youth unemployment, remaining stubbornly high, we must ensure that all levels of government are working together to make a long term change.
We must support our local businesses and drive innovative industries to the area. Whether this is through jobs in the renewable energy space, capitalising and expanding the current tourism market, or more work in the aged care sector, if elected, it will be my priority to ensure that we are building a strong economy that works for all of us.
I know Labor will always put people first and that is why I am proud to be the Labor candidate for Hinkler. We need investment in local jobs and apprenticeships, not loopholes for multinationals. Labor's Build Local, Buy Local plan for government contracts means that local workers and businesses will have greater access than ever to local infrastructure projects. With the existing projects underway, if elected, Labor will continue to work with these developments to ensure that more jobs remain in this region.
Damian Huxham, ONP
1. I fully support our apprenticeship policy which is designed to keep our young within our regions and provide them with the tools for a greater future. Last election we pushed for our region to become a tech hub for Australia by drawing manufacturing to Bundaberg and IT businesses the Hervey Bay. The more high income earners we can attract the more money we will have circulating within our regional economy.
2. The biggest challenges for our region I've learnt from speaking with many locals is trying to keep our youth here, earning, learning and growing their families.
3. As mentioned before, the high tech hub and a direct route to the two major hubs within our electorate will create multiple business opportunities, generate more tourism and bring people to our regions.
Feedback from constituents has highlighted the opportunity to attract new industry within the industrial hemp industry.
4. I am a supporter of hands on training, many nurses I've known would like to see nurses trained in local hospitals within the regions which would keep training nurses here and prevent them from having to travel to Brisbane.
5. If the jobs aren't there, no amount of employment agencies will create jobs for people who need them.
6. Attracting high tech industry to our region, connecting our regions via a direct route and opening up tourism routes, encouraging the industrial hemp industry to set up within our region and most importantly community feedback..
7. I do support renewables and I also believe all homes should be able to have solar and water tanks as well as a back up system to prevent blackouts.
8. In my personal opinion, the industry that most locals don't support locally is mining for gas and coal. Our coal deposits throughout Queensland are some of the best in the world and Australians have setup mining towns and mining communities specifically for mining.
9/10. The Cashless Card trial has commenced and as I have stated previously I will await the results of the trial once it is completed. Should the results be unsuccessful I would support it's roll back.
1. The government has been pushing 'trickle down' economics where they give huge tax breaks to large companies telling us that will flow on to create more jobs. I agree with some experts in that in reality this rarely happens and most big companies just increase their profit margin. To increase jobs we should be giving very specific and monitored financial incentives to both large and small business, which can only be gained when new full-time jobs are actually created.
Also the government needs to stop disguising the unemployment problem by including part-time and casual employees in the 'employed' stats. Many of these are under-employed and desperately looking for full-time work. True employment stats should show all these categories.
2. The region's population is expanding much faster than available jobs here. The lack of job opportunities leads to increased poverty, despondency, lack of motivation, increased crime, alcohol/drug abuse, relationship problems (including domestic violence), mental health issues and even suicide. Where high levels of unemployment exists for extended years, generational unemployment can create a culture of not expecting to work and welfare dependency.
3. We need to be more innovative in seeking out new business opportunities and attracting existing national companies to the region. I would work closely with existing industries and businesses to examine new opportunities both domestically and internationally. These opportunities need to be fostered and supported both from a regulatory and financially perspective. Existing regional business in horticulture/agriculture, sugar, manufacturing, building, fishing and tourism industries, as well as health care and aged/disability care services, could all do with an injection of government sponsored innovation and support.
4. Not in all cases is there enough suitable training that covers all employment skillsets. For example when this region's TAFE amalgamated with the Sunshine Coast TAFE this region lost some training opportunities like engineering. I believe there should be more government funding to make education and skills-based training through government institutions like TAFE, cheaply available to all those seeking them. Also more funding support to industries and business to put on more trade apprentices that will develop into lifelong careers.
5. We need to develop and strengthen employer - training provider networks to ensure there is a collaborate approach to delivering needs-based training. Actual current and past job-seekers should also be involved in discussions to get their 'real world' view on the training experience. The government's role in this is to provide coordination, a regulatory framework and monitoring to ensure the best possible outcomes are achieved.
6. Again, innovative thinking and collaboration with existing and potential business is essential to drive new business opportunities within our region. I would work with federal departments, State government and local council to encourage and develop financial incentives to attract new business to the region. When large businesses commit to a region then other small business opportunities and jobs often flow on from that.
7. I believe solar farms are an excellent investment in our current push into cleaner, sustainable energy sources. However, rather than private companies (that are driven by profit), having a monopoly on these future renewable generation sources, our government should again be investing in these projects. Governments once owned many of our country's power stations and other important public services infrastructure and provided those services at near cost. Once privatization of our public assets became trendy by government to make a fast buck, profit making took over as the priority and the cost to consumers has risen ever since. There are also other emerging energy generation technologies gaining attention and this area should be looking into all opportunities.
8. I am opposed to fracking in this or any other region. Numerous independent, peer reviewed studies (including from the EPA) have found ground and surface water and air contamination associated with fracking sites. There are up to 600 chemicals and known carcinogens in the fluid pumped under high pressure into the ground, including lead, benzene, uranium, radium methanol, mercury, acids, ethylene glycol and formaldehyde. 30-50% of this fluid is not recovered.
9. I can't see the Cashless Debit Welfare Card having a positive effect in our region. Yes, it is unacceptable if welfare recipients are spending their welfare payments on gambling, alcohol, drugs (or anything else for that matter), at the expense of their or their family's health and wellbeing. However, I think there are better ways to deal with isolated cases rather than taring everyone with the same brush. St Vincent de Paul's research showed 'There is no evidence that it improves the wellbeing of individuals or communities, either by reducing substance abuse or by increasing employment outcomes. The cashless debit card also carries a high risk of unintended and expensive consequences across government and the community, including social exclusion and stigmatisation, increased financial hardship, and the erosion of individual autonomy and dignity.'
10. No. I have not seen any statistical proof that shows there is a significant problem in this region of welfare recipients using their payments on drugs, alcohol or gambling at the expense of their children's wellbeing. Even the Australian National University researchers have criticised the reliability of a government-commissioned study used to justify the cashless debit card's expansion. I believe the minority of offenders could be individually identified and handled through the existing family and child protection systems.
Moe Turaga, IND
I believe the key is to start teaching our kids how to be business minded and entrepreneurship in schools. Do we think about reforming the tax for rural areas? Lower GST, Business Tax? To entice local small business to grow?
We have to start again through education programs which enhances individual skills and ability. If we consider de-institutionalising nursing homes as we did the disability sector 20 odd years ago, we will see a diverse range of employment skills from para professionals to community services workers in this area.
We have to reconsider or review the effectiveness of job provider programs or job search agencies - are they really working? If they aren't working why do we still give them tax payer dollars? Employment in Hinkler is abundant if you really want to work. If backpackers can find work and be respected here why cant we entice our locals and youth to queue up.
Our area is starting to see some growth from investors for the jewel it is, but lets work together in growing and protecting this little paradise we have - where else in the world can you dance with the whales?
Renewable energy industries will bring monies to the region and as long as we have 90 per cent employment out of it. As we seek newer energy sources we have to be careful not to exorcise other industries till a balanced transition happens. We should increase the Newstart allowances and Pensions so more monies are spent locally with GST going back into the Tax kitty.
The Cashless Welfare Card was never needed from the beginning if our current member had listened to the community. It discriminates and deteriorates peoples ability to become independent therefore belittles their community presence.
Joseph Ellul, UAP
When we talk about Hinkler and the current unemployment rate, we have to look at business who are the potential employers of those people and how they operate in Australia. We know that under the current government small business are being over taxed and under supported to be profitable and viable businesses.
All Australians are handicapped by a complex and uncertain tax system which is limiting rather than promoting what Australians might achieve for themselves and their families.
The United Australia Party wants a simpler life, fairer system so every Australian has a fair go. The ATO is responsible for more liquidations and winding up of business than any other party in Australia. Each time a business is closed we lose jobs. You only have to look around the Hinkler region to see that every day Australians who are having a crack, creating jobs and running businesses are being hit hard! With an unemployment rate of 10.5% under the current government, this has to be a big issue going into the elections.
Small business employ more than any other sector, and often businesses are forced to close because they can't afford to pay tax… tax on money they haven't even earned yet! Most business are required to pay their tax before they earn the money… if we shifted the due date to after the money has been earned, that would be an additional $70 billion available in our economy each year. Now tell me that won't create new jobs. Hinkler needs change! And we want to deliver on that change to make Australia great
Llew O'Brien, LNP
1. My advice to job seekers is not to let statistics deter you from putting yourself out there and having a go. I know what it's like to be unemployed while raising a young family in a tough economy when unemployment is high. From my own experience, the best advice I can give to any job seeker is to persist and not give up. When I was unemployed I did everything I could to build my skills and put myself in front of employers and take any job I could to gain experience and demonstrate my commitment to adding value to their business.
Ever since I was elected I've been working on projects to boost construction, increase manufacturing and sustain agriculture. My commitments to fix the highway, invest in the Rhienmetall Nioa plant, Dale and Meyer Timber and secure funding for the sugar industry, have generated real excitement and optimism amongst local business leaders who see these Liberal Nationals Government investments as the catalyst that will deliver a brighter economic future and more jobs to Maryborough. I have a proven track record and rock solid commitment to attracting investment to Maryborough and I'm working on building an economic environment where everyone who wants a job can get one.
2. Some of our region's challenges are also our greatest opportunities.
Our climate, idyllic lifestyle, our lower cost of living, and our proximity to water, air, road, and rail infrastructure gives us an advantage over many other areas to make our region a regional economic powerhouse and that is what I am focussed on by working with industry to create local jobs.
More than anything we need the Palaszsuk Trad Labor Government to stop appeasing the Greens in Brisbane, and support jobs in our sugar and timber industries in Maryborough. They need to stop price gouging electricity to give our local industry more opportunities to be competitive to grow and create jobs.
3. I am taking a comprehensive approach to create jobs in Maryborough to build the infrastructure, sustain existing industry, and support new manufacturing, all to create jobs and boost Maryborough's economy.
The Liberal Nationals Government is investing more than $1 billion to build a better and safer Bruce Highway, creating jobs through construction, opening up new industrial opportunities to keep the wheels of Wide Bay's economy turning.
I have committed $18 million to support Maryborough's iconic sugar industry, sustaining and creating 600 jobs on farms, in transport and at the mill.
I have also secured $28.5 million from the Liberal and Nationals Government to create 178 jobs at the Rheinmetall Nioa projectile forging plant.
The timber industry is another key driver of Maryborough's economy and I have delivered a $1.75 million investment to create new jobs at Dale and Meyers Timber for a new product line.
All up, these investments will create and support around 1000 jobs in the Maryborough district alone.
The Liberal and Nationals Government tax cuts for small business, instant asset write off, employment, training and apprenticeship initiatives, and our careful economic management are all designed to support jobs growth.
4. I've met with a number of training providers in Maryborough and I know they want their clients to succeed and gain employment. We also need to think outside the square and support new approaches to give people who want to work the skills and experiences to build their confidence to enter the workforce. I'm a strong supporter of innovative training to give people skills and experiences to gain employment, like Independent Riders on Kent Street in Maryborough, which is helping to transform the lives of people who come through their doors.
Manufacturing, tourism and aged care are key drivers of our economy. Since I was elected, Liberal and Nationals Government has invested in manufacturing in Maryborough, and we've contributed $900,000 towards the landmark Gallipoli to Armistice memorial in Queens Park which will bring people from all over Australia and around the world to Maryborough. I've committed $50,000 to the Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum for solar panels and airconditioning to make it even more comfortable for visitors. We've also allocated 721 new aged care beds in Wide Bay to accommodate the needs of our aging population which will also create jobs in the aged care sector.
5. Employment service providers need to continue to engage with industry, manufacturing, agriculture, training organisations and all levels of government to connect their clients with employment opportunities and ensure people have the skills to make them job ready.
The Liberal and Nationals Government has a comprehensive range of employment initiatives including subsidies, training and apprenticeship support, and service providers play a key role in connecting people with those programs.
6. The Rheinmetall Nioa projectile forging plant through its global supply chain network has a substantial capacity to increase its output to create even more jobs beyond the 100 ongoing positions.
I have also been in discussions with other new and innovative industries that are considering Maryborough as their base for manufacturing and I am working with them and Government to secure them and their jobs for our region.
Like me, local business leaders are keen to see further upgrades to the Bruce Highway which will allow them to move their goods faster, safer and more efficiently along the supply chain and to their clients. I worked with all levels of government and local businesses to secure $800 million from the Liberal and Nationals Government for the Gympie bypass which will better connect Maryborough to Brisbane and strengthen our region's transport connectivity.
7. Australia has an abundance of resources, both mineral and renewable, and we need to optimise their use in the most efficient way. I'm open minded about anything that will bring jobs to Maryborough and support existing industry.
When it comes to electric cars and solar farms, we need to be careful that we don't subsidise one industry at the expense of another, which may leave some consumers worse off. I am committed to ensuring our energy and transport needs are both reliable and affordable. The biggest barrier to affordable power prices is the Queensland Labor Government, we could all enjoy cheaper power prices today if the State Government didn't gouge profits from its electricity companies.
Maryborough's industrial base depends on a reliable source of base load power, and at the moment renewables aren't capable of sustaining that supply. That's why any move to unsustainable emissions and renewables targets by Labor threatens those industries and the jobs they support. Households and businesses need to be able to choose the sources of energy that best suit their needs.
8. Manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, fishing, timber, aged care, health, education, retail, hospitality, financial services all contribute to Maryborough's economy and support local jobs.
I am horrified at the prospect of the Labor Government's forestry laws killing off one of the mainstays of Maryborough's industrial base. I've put my money where my mouth is, I allocated $1.75 million in Maryborough's timber industry through the Wide Bay jobs package investment fund - and it's high time the state government sorted out its forestry agreements to support the local jobs created by this investment.
We need to take a responsible approach to new investment and development opportunities. Proposals needs to be assessed on their merits, not on blind ideology. We have robust and rigorous environmental standards and these need to be applied diligently.
9/10. The cashless debit card is being trialled in the Hinkler electorate. It is not coming to Wide Bay.
Jason Scanes, ALP
1. Restoring Penalty Rate cuts in the first 100 days if Labor are elected into Government, is a step in the right direction. This will allow families to cope with rising household costs and provide more money to circulate through our local economies, placing greater demand on goods and services. We must ensure that the huge cuts to education, health, aged care, university and TAFE funding under this Coalition Government are reversed. Our Kids deserve a good education and our youth deserve to receive training with opportunities to remain in our region. Investments and support for small-medium sized businesses will ensure that they can capitalise from the use of technology and be positioned to tackle market disruptions that are inevitable as technology continues to develop.
2. Access to training for job seekers, support for small and medium sized businesses, opportunity for jobseekers and employers' access to skilled workers. Labor is committed to providing 150,000 TAFE positions with no up-front fees and 100,000 new apprenticeships will be part of the $1b Labor Government investment. If elected I will be well-positioned to fight for Wide Bay's fair share.
3. Labor's business guarantee with funding of $10M or more will see labour sourced locally and one in 10 employees being an apprentice. In addition, other Labor policies like the 'local procurement' policy and investments, such as $2.3b into cancer treatment, 15 hours, 40 weeks a year access to Kinder for three/four year old and $2,000 per family for energy storage systems coupled with investments into education and TAFE will all drive a greater need for services and jobs in the region.
4. No, massive cuts to education and TAFE positions have seen a decline in critical trade skills required for our region. A need to identify the industries of tomorrow and tailoring training and funding packages to support job seekers in gaining relevant and useful skills that employers require to meet the future market needs remains a priority. An example will be the future of aged care and medical/nursing services in the Wide Bay.
5. Greater funding and support to resource providers to ensure they are well positioned to deliver services for job seekers and remain a relevant source to match employees with employers.
6. Due to the central location of the Wide Bay to our Defence Forces, the Wide Bay should be seen as prime real estate for further Defence Industry Investments and manufacturing opportunities. There is significant scope for further investment into alternative energy generation, storage and agriculture within the region and we should be looking to exploit these areas. Procurement of rail rolling stock to support local manufacturing facilities such as Downer Rail and associated businesses and suppliers will be crucial to local jobs and industry into the future.
7. There are significant opportunities for the manufacturing and production of solar technology and battery storage research manufacturing here in the Wide Bay. With an abundance of space, well connected logistics and central location to markets, the Wide Bay is a perfect place for new energy and manufacturing market exploitation.
8. The Fraser Coast is a diverse electorate. We have plenty of opportunities to exploit new markets and investments in the region. More must be done to give opportunity for small businesses, innovation and industries in the region. This means investment into not only our road networks but connecting our Primary Producers and regional areas with the market place, communication remains a key area of investment.
9. I think we are creating divisive communities, opening opportunity to fraud, compromising personal details of users and taking vital funding and resources out of local economies. This places further strain on those who receive Government Payments and will see local communities and small businesses suffer.
10. Reports on the effective use of the Cashless Debit Card have been criticised by researchers at ANU. I am opposed to the use of the card entirely for veterans and pensioners and have doubts as to the success of the card and the trials being conducted. I would not be supportive of this card based on reports and finding to date.
Daniel Bryar, GRN
The biggest problem our region faces is the same for every other regional centre in Australia; the tyranny of distance. The best thing we can do to overcome this issue and expand regional opportunities is provide better infrastructure to transport goods and workers, and better access to markets for the product of those workers and the businesses they work in.
Employment opportunities in any regional centre are reliant on a good spread of primary, secondary and tertiary industries that are both interconnected and compliment each other, and provide goods and services for exports as well as the region. To ensure everyone is able to benefit from State investment, government policy needs to focus on community benefit rather than price alone when purchasing goods and services. We saw this mistake with the Newman Government overlooking local capability for the passenger train upgrades in Brisbane; an apparent short term financial win for the state, but a costly problem over the longer term, and public money that could have gone to the region instead went overseas.
Besides local procurement preferences, public policy should encourage investment in regional areas through incentives such as long term tax breaks and operational discounts rather than public grants alone. Too many times we have seen companies fail once the public funding is removed as the business was never financially viable without it. Local, state and federal governments need to work together in order to build the environment that encourages profitable business to locate in the region. This means allowing many of the upfront costs such as infrastructure charges to be deferred against future profits, or directly offset through targeted, conditional grants from higher levels of government.
Other conditions that underpin business growth are reduced operational costs, and two of the largest costs in manufacturing are energy, and labour. With renewable power projects such as the Susan River solar farm local power can be directly purchased at wholesale rates, but the biggest cost is not the amount of energy used, but the peak input demanded. These "demand" charges are what really cost business; the "poles and wires" of our so-called gold plated grid. The Greens plan is to bring all electricity networks and retail operations back under government control where changes can be made to provide benefits such as direct incentives that may offer businesses reduced energy demand prices where it would lead to employment growth.
At a federal level our energy policy needs to focus on a transition from traditional generation towards sustainable and renewable sources that have equal or lower costs of supply. Taking battery backed solar and wind as examples, as the fuel costs are nil, the only costs are that of capital, and labour. It is the zero fuel cost that allows renewable energy to provide so many more jobs than traditional generation, while providing power at a lower cost to the consumer.
And it is global economics factors that are driving the move away from coal, not public policy in this country or the next. What we don't want to do is have public money put in to dead end industries like thermal coal where there is no chance of either a financial or a community payback. Advocating for cleaner and cheaper power is a simple and clear choice for politicians.
With regards to the cashless welfare card, I cannot think of something more demeaning to recipients, more costly to administer, or more corrupt in its inception and operation. Indue, a company owned and operated by a former National Party MP through his networks of trusts, friends and family, is the only winner. It is the their aim to put this card, with all its failures, in to as many towns and cities as possible so the rort that funnels profits from the administration of public welfare can continue to grow unabated. Consider that the card costs around $4,000 per person to establish yet provides no savings to the government. That is $4,000 wasted in administration that could have gone in to roads, hospitals and schools. Naturally, I have no interest in supporting or furthering such a waste of public funds.
Andrew Schebella, UAP
1. The United Australia Party will reintroduce a zonal taxation concession of 20% this will bring new business and give incentive to existing businesses to grow creating jobs and new opportunities.
2. Opportunity, if we create a reason to do business in the region businesses will open and grow.
3. Reintroducing a zonal taxation conssesion of 20% will bring jobs to the region.
4. This is something that needs to be dealt with industry by industry and when in government we will work closely with and deliver outcomes that will work for the sector.
5. Let's get into government first and then take action.
6. We intend to change how tax gets payed by business. Paying tax after you have earnt the income will allow to invest in the growth of your business. Provisional tax is putting to much strain on business by paying tax in advance on a projected figure.
7. We will release a policy shortly. We want to work with renewables but the balance must be correct and not blowout out living cost.
8. Politicians are there to find solution. The community is there to innovate and create industry and drive there futures.
9. We cannot predict at this stage, we need to let it unfold and monitor.
10. When elected the member for Hinkler and myself will be working closely together, we are a very strong team.
Tim Jerome, IND
I see things differently than most as far as unemployment and creating jobs because I look at the big picture. I'm not going to speak a lot of empty promises to win a vote as the others will do. I believe I have more of an American Trump mentality to unemployment. Trump's mentality is America first, American jobs first. This is the mentally we need to have in Australia.
The backbone of any community is small business. When I drive past Maryborough and other neighbouring towns what I see are empty shops, empty businesses. Why are they empty? It is because of the lack of government support.
My emphasis will be working with and partnering with Australian businesses. It's about getting off your backside and talking to local businesses and finding out how they are going and working with them to keep them afloat and then expand. Tax incentives and government initiative for Australian companies and businesses is step number one.
Australia has only so much budgeted money. The problem is we spend it in the wrong places. Our government is very wasteful. The LNP spent $600,000 a day on propaganda advertising recently. How many young local couples could they have set up in business if they had given an interest free loan of $600,000 to start a business? We spend over half a billion dollars on our ex-Prime-Ministers and MP's every year. We need to be looking at the big picture of getting our Australian back from those who have sold us out, to address unemployment and create new jobs to turn this region around.