"Support where it's needed" - New Norfolk and Derwent Valley News

Raise a hand if you’re as worried as I am about the removal of JobKeeper.

With the $90 billion wage subsidy cut short by the Liberals on March 31, a million workers across Australia woke up this week to job insecurity and anxiety.

They’re asking questions like “what do I do now?.

The Treasury Secretary admitted during Senate estimates last week that more than 100,000 workers face redundancy at JobKeeper’s end.

100,000 workers – just let that number sink in.

That’s 100,000 families left in the lurch, facing financial pressure. It’s thousands of small businesses at risk of closure.

That’s someone you know being directly impacted.

We’re tough down here in Tassie and New Norfolk is no exception.

I’ve seen how businesses are pushing back against the grain.

We’ve seen new shops like AM’s Body Art, Q Nails and Lavie Nails and Lashes launching in recent months.

We’ve seen fledgling stores like Willows Flowers battle through a year like no other and come out the other side bigger and better than ever.

We’ve seen investors and developers look at New Norfolk and see the beauty and potential in our region.

We’ve tackled the economic challenge of this pandemic head on and there’s plenty to be proud of.

Scott Morrison’s removal of JobKeeper is a sucker punch.

The pandemic isn’t over, so the support shouldn’t be either.

JobKeeper has been the life support for so many good Australian businesses and that’s been ripped away.

It’s pretty rank that the Liberals are letting big profitable companies keep $10 billion in JobKeeper, which they never needed, but say they can’t afford to support small businesses and workers.

For our communities to fully bounce back from the pandemic, we need people to have money and the confidence to spend that money locally.

Scott Morrison says the economy is doing so well that businesses no longer need JobKeeper but says the economy is so weak that conditions need to be cut.

It just doesn’t add up.

I want to see businesses in our community get the support they need now to help them thrive when the pandemic is over. That’s good for jobs.

One way to achieve this is to upskill our workers by supporting institutions like TAFE, not privatising them.

Labor have a fully costed package of policies to support and regenerate TAFE and apprenticeships.

A federal Labor government will waive upfront fees for 100,000 students to attend TAFE and we will ensure one in every 10 jobs on Commonwealth priority projects are filled by Australian apprentices.

And we’ll provide 20,000 adult apprentice programs for older workers who want or need to retrain.

On top of that, Labor leader Anthony Albanese this week unveiled a $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund designed to make Australian goods right here in Australia.

We want to invest in local manufacturing hubs to drive regional economic development. That means more local jobs producing more local goods.