Illawara And South Coast Sliding Backwards Under Coalition

Illawarra federal MPs Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones and Labor’s candidate for Gilmore Fiona Phillips have today warned that economic growth in Australia has come at the expense of many electorates including Whitlam and Gilmore.


An electorate-by-electorate breakdown produced by SGS Economics and Planning shows that economic growth has by-passed much of Australia.


While nine of the 10 fastest growing electorates are held by the Coalition, others have missed out.


Whitlam and Gilmore are going backwards with their local economies declining under the Coalition Government and Cunningham has only recorded a very slight growth of .064 per cent.


Sharon Bird said that the Government’s savage $2.75 billion in cuts to skills and training will have an impact in the region.


“The Liberals have cut $1 billion from apprentices which has led to the loss of 1,319 apprentices in training between June 2014 and March 2015 across the regions three electorates – Cunningham (589), Throsby (429) and Gilmore (301).


“Instead of cutting investment in training local people, governments should be ensuring that people have the skills that they need to enter the workforce to improve participation, productivity, innovation and growth.”


Stephen Jones said that the figures confirmed what many people already knew.


“This is a Government that helps those who can help themselves. It is a Government that provides tax cuts to multinational companies while abandoning low and middle income families.


“It is no surprise that the Illawarra’s economy isn’t growing. Unlike Labor which has a plan for steel jobs that will be executed within 100 days of taking office, the Coalition has ignored the industry.


“What the Coalition doesn’t understand is that we need to support and grow economies in places like the Illawarra. That means supporting local infrastructure projects like the Maldon Dombarton rail link, delivering on the National Broadband Network and committing to Gonski school funding reforms.”


Fiona Phillips said that the South Coast deserved better.


“Unemployment, particularly youth unemployment, is a massive problem in the South Coast and a shrinking economy certainly won’t help.


“The economy is growing in many parts of Australia, but the South Coast has missed out. There is no plan for disadvantaged suburbs - they are left to fend for themselves.”