At Lismore City Hall yesterday are (left) local employment co-ordinator Terry Watson, with former ACTU head Bill Kelty, Parliamentary Employment Secretary Jason Clare, and Janelle Saffin.
At Lismore City Hall yesterday are (left) local employment co-ordinator Terry Watson, with former ACTU head Bill Kelty, Parliamentary Employment Secretary Jason Clare, and Janelle Saffin. Jacklyn Wagner

Canberra helps northern NSW jobs

MORE jobs for the Northern NSW region is the message that was conveyed yesterday at a Keep Australia Working forum held in Lismore City Hall.

The forum was hosted by the Parliamentary Secretary for Employment, Jason Clare, along with Page MP Janelle Saffin, and the former head of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Bill Kelty.

“The Australian Government has created a list of 20 areas across the nation identified as needing help in lowering unemployment,” Mr Clare said.

“The North Coast and Northern Rivers are areas where we need to go the extra mile to support local jobs.”

With an official unemployment rate of 6.3 per cent, being half a percentage point above the national average, the Richmond-Tweed and Clarence Valley have qualified for a permanent local employment co-ordinator to work in the region.

“That is why, starting today, I'd like to introduce Mr Terry Watson who has 33 years' experience in the tourism and leisure industry,” Mr Clare said.

Mr Watson, currently general manager of Norfolk Tourism but living on the North Coast, said the first task he would be performing was to liaise with employer stakeholders and community groups and to work through the process to get jobs up and running.

Mr Kelty was impressed with the vitality in the region, believing the drop of unemployment from a rate of 15-16pc the last time he visited showed the strengths and optimism that exist in the area.

Ms Saffin said that the forum had been organised to discuss how to maximise the employment impact of the Government stimulus package locally.

“The announcement of $4 million from the Government job fund will create 95 jobs in the area,” she said.

“Projects such as the upgrade of the Byron Bay community hub and the Nimbin community solar farm will help this to happen.”

Around 110 business and community delegates from a wide range of industries attended the forum.



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