Unemployment rates fail to impress

THE REGION'S unemployment rate may have fallen during the last month but Hinkler MP Paul Neville is not jumping for joy.

On the face of it, the drop from 9.3 per cent in September to 5.9 per cent in October is a move in the right direction.

However, Mr Neville remains concerned about the volatility of the Wide Bay-Burnett's job profile, pointing back to the 3.5 per cent rate the Howard Government left in place at the change of government in November 2007.

“Since that time, the average unemployment rate for the Wide Bay Burnett has been 6.8 per cent, with a peak of 10.1 per cent in May 2009,” Mr Neville said yesterday.

“The fact that these figures bounce around reinforces the need for consistent policies which support regional communities from all levels of government.

“I maintain my strong conviction that seed funding for viable medium-sized industry and other enterprises is the way forward for regions such as ours.”

Mr Neville was responding to the release of monthly figures by the Bureau of Statistics.

“Another area in which the government could be helpful to provincial districts is to grant a special boost to tourism to offset the high Australian dollar which is enticing Australians overseas.

“In the Coalition's election promises we had planned grants of $350,000 to tourist regions and this is something Labor could do tomorrow if it had the will.

“We are also drawing towards the end of the year when school leavers hit the jobs market so I'd expect we'll see increasing rates in coming months.”

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