By CHARLENE MACAULAY
MELTON MP Don Nardella has slammed the Napthine Government for failing to produce a jobs plan despite a marked increase in unemployment across the North West.
The ALP’s Mr Nardella said the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics Labour Force figures show the unemployment rate in the North West region has jumped from 6.5 per cent – or 10,200 people – under Labor in 2010 to 9.1 per cent – 16,000 people – in February 2014 under the Napthine government. The North West region encompasses the municipalities of Brimbank, Melton, Moonee Valley, Macedon, Hume and Moreland.
“The new Australian Bureau of Statistics figures were shocking for Melton families and those looking for work,” Mr Nardella said.
“Denis Napthine still hasn’t released a jobs plan, but Labor’s Project 10,000 will invest $2 billion on Melbourne and Regional roads and create 10,000 new jobs across Victoria.
“Labor’s Plan for Jobs and Growth will see more investment in job-creating projects for communities throughout Victoria and in Melton.
“Under Denis Napthine, Melton is losing jobs, businesses are closing their doors and workers are worried about their future.”
Western Metropolitan Region MP Andrew Elsbury hit back last week, saying the government was working hard to create jobs in the region.
“There was a note on those statistics to say that the standard deviation is pretty high considering how small the region is,” the Liberal’s Mr Elsbury said.
“We’ve got the East Werribee employment precinct project, which we’re putting our full support behind and will generate 54,000 permanent jobs over its lifespan.
“We’ve also got the Airport West and Essendon Fields employment precinct that was announced by Minister (Matthew) Guy last week, so that’s an extra 15,000 jobs in the northern part of the electorate.
“We also have our commitment to the East West Link, which will generate 2000 jobs in the construction industry.
“Of course, we’ve had the hit from Toyota making its announcement … but we’re working with industry at the moment to try and re-tool and re-organise themselves for the future.
“We don’t need a document called a jobs plan, we’re just getting on with the job of creating jobs.”