Most Australians want a good quality of life and a good standard of living. To achieve this, the availability of jobs in any region is essential. The Liberal National Coalition Government always, always claim to be the Party to look up to when it comes to jobs and business.
We see the main stream media support this claim with positive spin after positive spin in favour of the LNP or derogatory headlines and stories about Labor. I often wonder if there is a statue of Tony Abbott in the foyer of The Australian or a statue of Campbell Newman and Joh Bjelke-Petersen in the foyer of The Courier Mail; where journalists begin their day by bowing to these statues and vowing to serve them through the course of their duties. Then there are those in the voting public who believe what the Liberal National Coalition say about how they understand business and are great for jobs and repeat it without question.
When the LNP believe that they indeed are the best party for jobs and business, it then leads to a false dichotomy that those on unemployment must simply be lazy and that they simply don’t try enough. Obviously the LNP are in charge, so of course there are plenty of jobs to apply for!
Based on this false dichotomy, the LNP’s approach to assisting the unemployed jobs is to starve community programs of funding and punish the hell out of jobseekers by implementing the worst jobseeker support program in Australia’s history “Job Active.” Commentary on social media welfare sites from program participants, suggests that Job Active agencies are more focused on who they can get to pull out weeds for free under Abbott’s work for the dole program, than any real constructive assistance.
Commentary and anecdotes on social media also point to a system where there is no money to assist jobseekers find real work and assistance for study is not supported (unless it is pointless in-house training). With the Newman Government’s changes to vocational education over the last three years coupled with the Abbott Government’s punitive Job Active program, Jobseekers living well below the poverty line must pay out of their own pocket up front costs or pay the course off, as there is no HECS or HELP deferral scheme for many vocational education courses. Those on welfare need to weigh up their options between being able to afford food and housing or an education. As an Australian, I find this absolutely abhorrent and 100% unacceptable and this destroys this our way of life.
The Palaszczuk Labor Government has just delivered their first budget by Treasurer Curtis Pitt and have invested 34 Million to begin the repair of our vocational sector and TAFE, to provide real training options for jobseekers. I hope that this will be extended to ensure affordable access for everyone who has the right to an education, including those on welfare payments.
Sadly, also on social media you read the stories of many jobseekers who are anxious, depressed, frustrated, upset and at times indirectly or directly discussing suicide or ‘not living anymore’ as an option. This is how they are feeling as jobseekers under the Job Active program. Some of the comments I have read and the stories collected by the Australian Unemployment Union are absolutely heartbreaking.
To degrade the unemployed even further, in some towns like mine you are given a Basic’s card. Welfare recipients are given a cashless card and a small amount of cash. This leaves the jobseeker with very little real money to make purchasing decisions with. The Basics Card also seeks to stigmatise the jobseeker by giving them their own identifier which allows every shop assistant and member of the public at the checkout know that they are on welfare.
Couple this with the rhetoric that comes from the agenda of stigmatisation from the Liberal Government such as backbencher Ewen Jones who said: “look there’s your dole, go home, eat Cheezels, get on the Xbox, kiss you goodbye and we will never see you again’?” Add the sensationalisation of welfare recipients on television and so called ‘current affairs shows’; welfare recipients using a basic card, will be seen automatically by some as no good, lazy, bludging welfare thieves. Terminology used by many avid Liberal supporters which places those on welfare in a criminal category. Welfare recipients are not often seen as human beings who desperately want and actively seek work.
There is absolutely no option for those on welfare to blend in or not stand out as a recipient of welfare. This completely undermines the right to dignity and respect without judgement for so many Australians. Under the LNP their reasoning is to shame you into finding a job every time you stand at the checkout. The other misunderstanding about the Basic’s card, is that it is available everywhere. There are only a small number of shops and services which allow purchase with a basics card. This often forces the jobseeker, living below the poverty line, to spend money at more expensive stores. In some towns, they have no options at all. This places pressure on their already meagre budget.
So lets see….who should really be punished. Is it the jobseeker or the Government? I have completed an analysis of job vacancies in my local area of Central Queensland to find out.
The availability of jobs is essential to a productive economy and enables the unemployed to actively apply for employment. Plentiful job vacancies also enable career development for the employed looking for jobs to advance their career. This opens up lower level jobs for others to apply for. In many cases, highly skilled workers are stuck at the lower end of their professions and not moving on as there are no jobs available to apply for. This puts a constraint on jobseekers seeking entry level jobs. It also puts a constraint on highly skilled jobseekers who also find themselves in the employment queue and now find themselves pulling weeds under work for the dole.
The graph below is job vacancy data for Central Queensland from March, 2012 to January 2015 of the Newman LNP Government and the new Labor Government from Feb 2015 to May 2015. This is where the data availability ceases. There is no data available after May, 2015, but I will be providing follow ups as it comes to hand. (you can click the photo to enlarge). I have completed an analysis on Central Queensland for two reasons. One is, it is the area I live in and I am very passionate about Central Queensland and the second is to bring some truth to light about how the Newman Govt affected regional areas. Many believe that due to the Public Service cuts and media around protests, it was mainly Brisbane which had felt the impact. This is not so.
Interesting Fact Number 1.
An analysis of job vacancy data for the period of the LNP Newman Government shows a dramatic decline of job vacancies for Central Queensland. Data available up until May, 2015 shows that in the first four months of the LNP Newman Government, Central Queensland Job vacancies declined by 378 vacancies. After one year of the Newman Government, there were 1781.7 less job vacancies for Central Queenslanders to apply for. By the end of the Newman Government, there were 2198 less job vacancies advertised in CQ than when the LNP took office.
By comparison, in the first five months of the Palaszczuk Labor Government, Job Vacancies have turned around and job vacancies have increased by 218 jobs for the CQ region in this short time.
Interesting Fact Number 2.
The sharpest decline in job vacancies for any month-to-month period was the period of November to December 2012, which saw a 16% decline in one month for Job Vacancies for CQ jobseekers, under the LNP.
In comparison, the Palaszczuk Labor Government has achieved the highest increase of job vacancies for any month-to-month period for the CQ Region, over the last three years. For the period from February to March 2015, Job Vacancies in Central Queensland saw a sharp increase of 16%. This is the highest job vacancy increase for any month-to-month period, since March 2012. In a few short months, the Labor Government has achieved what the Newman Government could not achieve in their entire period in office. That is, “to understand business and create jobs” This is an absolute positive and speaks volumes of the quality of MPs within the Palaszczuk Government. The graph below shows only job classifications with an increase of 20 job vacancies or more. This is not an exhaustive list.
Interesting Fact Number 3
During the period of the LNP Campbell Newman Government, job vacancies in Central Queensland declined by 56%. To put this in real terms, that is 2198 job vacancies not open for Central Queenslanders to apply for under the LNP. The graph below demonstrates the top 15 job classifications which experienced a decline in job vacancies over the period of the Newman LNP Government. The only job classification which experienced an increase in job vacancies under the Newman Government were: Farmers and Farm manager (0.9 increase); Carers and Aides (9.2) Education Professionals (12.2 increase) and Medical Practitioners and Nurses (12.8 increase) These figures are raw numbers, not percentages. If we look at the success of the Newman Government for Central Queensland, their achievement is basically an increase of 35 job vacancies across four job classifications, and a decline in all other job vacancies for their entire period in Government.
Interesting Fact Number 4
In the first four months of the Newman Govt, job vacancies in Central Queensland fell by 10%. In the first four months of the Palaszczuk Govt Jobs vacancies in central QLD increased by 13%
The term LNP has been used interchangeably throughout this post, meaning the Liberal National Coalition State and Federal. The LNP use a synthesis of blame and stigma to take the focus off their failings. The LNP repeat the misguided rhetoric that they are ‘good for jobs’ without question and place blame on everyone else, including the unemployed. As the data analysis of Job Vacancies for one area in Queensland show, the Abbott Government’s punitive approach is completely uncalled for. The harsh welfare measures implemented do nothing but feed into the Abbott Government’s agenda of Stigmatisation of those on welfare. Why? Because there are no better votes for the LNP those those created out of hate, disgust and fear.
My Conclusion? If you want to starve a region of jobs. Want to punish the unemployed unnecessarily. – Just vote for a Liberal National Government!
Stay tuned for more analysis drilled down on specific classifications and other nerd-filled data excitement!
Tonight in front of a capacity crowd at Trades Hall in Sydney, Bill Shorten MP laid out Labor’s plans for a highly skilled, smarter future for Australia at the Sydney Jobs Forum.
Labor has a plan to create the jobs of the future for all Australians and it was fantastic to be able to present these ideas and our program for the future of jobs in Australia at the Sydney Labor Jobs forum tonight.
Australians are smart! We understand that if we want to create jobs we need to be a smart nation. So Labor will have a program at the next election – an economic program for jobs. That is what good Labor Governments do.
We understand that older Australians – they lose their jobs and face the ruthless discrimination of age.
We know that our young people in country towns and pockets of our cities face unacceptable levels of unemployment and people with disabilities are treated as second class citizens too often in the labour market.
So a Labor Govt will absolutely have policies that go towards helping these groups get equal opportunities in the market place and work. Our democracy has the ability for every person to contribute to it. Every one of us has the chance to challenge the status quo.
Labor believes that no Australian is expendable. I promise you that Labor will be guided by an economic program for jobs. We believe in unleashing the potential and possibility of Australians.
The mining boom was nothing compared to what a Labor Government can do with the great creative capacity of the Australian people. We need to win the next election because the Australian people deserve better than what they are getting now.
Jobs for now and the future!
Is the Member for Capricornia trying to pull the wool over the eyes of voters with regards to fuel watch or is it a case of the Boy who cried wolf?
During the QLD election campaign, Michelle Landry and Bruce Young advised they had submitted a joint submission to the ACCC to investigate fuel prices in Rockhampton and Yeppoon (TMB 16/01/2015).
The ACCC published an annual report on the investigation into fuel prices one month prior in December, which included Rockhampton, Yeppoon and 34 other regional towns. It doesn’t make sense that the ACCC would exclude Rockhampton and Yeppoon for their quarterly reports. Did Landry really have to fight to get our area included? It certainly does not appear that way. Some would call that a furphy.
Ms. Landry now has a petition to include Capricornia in fuel watch studies by the ACCC. The quarterly reports and annual report already include regional areas including towns in Capricornia. The ACCC’s report and fact sheet on regional pricing, clearly state the reasons for price disparity in the regions. Why is Ms. Landry asking constituents to sign a petition for work already being undertaken by the ACCC, instead of addressing the key issues for price disparity? Has Ms. Landry read these reports and is she across the issues for the reasons of price disparity? It appears she is not; otherwise, the petition would be a pointless venture. Why is Ms. Landry not putting forward solutions to bring prices down, or working with other regional MPs to come up with solutions based on the ACCC’s research? There is very little disparity across all regional prices, with the exception of Whitsundays, Mackay, Maryborough and Gympie on the lower end and Gold Coast, Miles, Longreach and Mt Isa at the upper end of the scale.
Did Ms. Landry address fuel prices with Minister Billson when he visited Rockhampton and push him to act on the reasons detailed for price disparity for regions? Ms. Landry’s comments around Minister Billson’s visit to Rockhampton were “Having the Minister here within six days of the budget shows just how important our local mum and dad businesses are to the local economy,” (TMB 15 May, 2015). If the Member for Capricornia is serious, she would have discussed the impact of fuel costs, such as on Ms. Jackson’s small business and urged the Minister to act upon the ACCC findings and put forward workable solutions.
It appears that Ms. Landry is not being solution focused with her petition idea. Capricornia is already included in the ACCC monitoring studies published every quarter. Also, the answers to Ms. Landry’s questions on the petition are found in ACCC reports on regional fuel price disparity.
Ms. Landry already came up with an attack plan for fuel prices in January. I am wondering if this is another one of Michelle Landry’s ‘gunna-do’ empty promises that won’t result in any solutions for the people of Capricornia and what is Landry gunna-do about the fuel prices in another six months?
Sent for consideration as a Letter to the Editor of the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin
Michelle Landry must think the more she repeats something people will believe it to be true. Landry praises herself for whatever work she thinks she is doing in Capricornia for the past 18 months and slams Labor’s record (again TMB 02/07/2015).
Kirsten Livermore spent nine years in opposition. It speaks volumes to how the Howard Govt ignored this area, just as much as the Abbott Govt is. Landry speaks up against FIFO, Abbott promotes FIFO. Landry apparently speaks up for cyclone damage funding, Abbott shows he doesn’t care, so Landry blames others. Classic LNP behaviour.
Here are some of Kirsten’s and Labor’s achievements after the removal of the Howard Government (taken as an excerpt from her retirement speech).
RBH – new MR Machine
Contributed 76 million to redevelopment of RBH
Regional Cancer Centre RBH
In partnership with UQ funded the Rural Clinical School
Allied Health clinic at CQU for students in podiatry, oral, health, nutrition, physiotherapy and other disciplines to work alongside QHealth (which we are seeing the benefits of now)
New library and accommodation at Mackay CQU
Total upgrade to library and Engineering building at Rockhampton CQU
Millions towards the merger of CQU and TAFE to be the first dual sector university in QLD (for which LNP have opened and taken the glory for)
Initiative of Medicare local, which closes the gaps left by the withdrawal of funding by the Howard Govt (Which Landry has stood by and has let it leave our area)
Headspace Rockhampton (Which now faces uncertainty due to funding cuts)
A generous sponsor for Beef Expo
Funding support to meatworks and Mackay sugar to upgrade facilities for quality and innovation
$120 Million to upgrade and improve the Bruce Highway (Howard Govt gave only $6 million for Peak Downs Highway between Mackay and the Bowen Basin coal mines)
Lifting of the Highway at the southern end of Rockhampton (and LNP took all the glory for that one too)
This is not an exhaustive list. Maybe Ms. Landry should have a rethink before she states that Ms. Livermore and Labor did nothing. The nothing years were under Howard, just as they have been under Abbott and Landry. Sure Landry is in the paper every single day saying “she is gunna do this and gunna do that,” but then she fails to deliver or Abbott doesn’t listen.
What Landry does work hard at and proudly votes for is everything that will damage Capricornian families and services.
Landry votes for cuts to health, cuts to education, cuts to pensions and family payments, $100,000 university degrees, cuts to ABC and SBS, punitive and abhorrent jobseeker policies, removing Medicare Locals from our region and moving it to Sunshine Coast and vocally stands in the way of marriage equality, to name just a few.
Bring it on I say. Not only I will be giving Leisa Neaton my number 1 vote but I will be speaking up for Leisa everywhere I go and encouraging as many people as I can to do so as well. As Leisa’s new slogan says #CapricorniaCounts and that I believe in.
Also sent for consideration as a letter to the Editor of The Rockhampton Morning Bulletin.