Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones were stunned that this out of touch Prime Minister today used yet another flying visit to the Illawarra as a stunt to spin his electricity policy and failed to provide one cent of funding for infrastructure in the Illawarra.

Power bills have skyrocketed under the Liberals, putting pressure on good manufacturing companies in the Illawarra.

Bill Shorten has already committed a future Labor Government to engaging with the states, stakeholders and the experts and will also:

  • Modernise the energy market rules to give more power to consumers.
  • Create Renewable Energy Zones to drive investment and jobs in the sector.
  • Change the Clean Energy Finance Corporation’s investment return benchmark so it can invest in more generation and storage projects.

The gas crisis has developed on the Liberals’ watch. Malcolm Turnbull promised to halve gas prices – he hasn’t. If Turnbull was worried about manufacturing energy bills he should have pulled the gas trigger and control gas exports – this will guarantee adequate supply and put downward pressure on prices.

The region is still waiting on the promise by former Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane in Wollongong during the steel industry crisis in 2014 that he was working on something that would “…..make a massive difference to the region”.

Sharon Bird said that at a time when there were so many issues facing the community here in the Illawarra it was stunning that the Prime Minister turned up with no local commitments.

“As a region we have been lobbying hard for more funding for infrastructure projects like the Maldon Dombarton Rail Line, for more funding for schools, TAFE and universities and today the Prime Minister arrived with nothing.

“He stood in our local area and tried to spin his energy policy which would deliver a miniscule weekly saving of a gold coin donation for households in a few years’ time and failed to address the needs of our local community.  This just shows how out of touch he is.  He has cut funding for schools, he has cut funding for TAFE and he proposes cuts to our local University and increased costs for our students.

Stephen Jones said Mr Turnbull cancelled Parliament this week and instead drops into the Illawarra for a quick press conference.

“He shouldn’t use our steelworks as a movie set for his poor acting. If he wanted to support jobs then he should fix his failed NBN.

“Reliable, high-speed broadband is vital for jobs and our region’s future. We know that fast broadband and access to data will underpin the economy of tomorrow but under the Coalition, the NBN is just not delivering.

“It’s high-time Turnbull swallows his pride, admit he got it wrong and introduce measures to fix the mess he created.”

The local MPs challenged the Prime Minister to come back to the local area with some commitments to help new jobs growth and economic development.