State support for displaced workers
LISMORE MP Thomas George has expressed sympathy to the 116 Lismore-based employees who have been made redundant by Telstra today.
Telstra has announced the closure of the Goonellabah call centre, part of 651 jobs the telco plans to cut nationwide.
"My heart goes out to the 116 employees who have been given some very tough news this afternoon," Mr George said.
"Lismore is a tight-knit community, and I am confident we will all band together to help those who have lost their jobs.
"I am flabbergasted and incredibly disappointed by Telstra's decision.
"There's no point in flooding our TVs with patriotic ads during the Olympics if you then go and fire the good, hard-working people who are the ones actually providing customer service.
Mr George said there was some small relief in the news Telstra would attempt to redeploy Lismore staff to other parts of the telco.
"Following my request, deputy premier Andrew Stoner has mobilised NSW Trade and Investment, who will provide co-ordinated support to Telstra call centre staff through a number of avenues," Mr George said.
"NSW Trade and Investment will work with relevant state and commonwealth agencies to develop a collaborative response tailored to the needs of employees affected by the closure.
"Telstra has assured us all staff will receive payments due to them in these circumstances, but we'll be sure to keep an eye on that.
"In the face of this terrible news, it is important to remember that Lismore does have a bright future. Jobs in our region grew by 500 from June to July this year, and the unemployment rate fell 0.3 per cent.
"The NSW Government is encouraging job creation in Lismore and the Northern Rivers region through the Northern Rivers Job Plan.
The Northern Rivers Job Plan encourages eligible businesses in the Northern Rivers to put on new staff by offering incentives including direct grant assistance, payroll tax rebates, and contributions to enabling infrastructure that can support new employment.
"I encourage businesses in Lismore who are looking to create two or more jobs to apply for funding under round one of funding which closes later this week on August 24," Mr George said.
Businesses that may not be eligible for the Northern Rivers Jobs Plan can instead access the NSW Government's Jobs Action Plan, which provides payroll tax rebates for the first 100,000 new jobs created under the scheme.
Businesses interested in making an application under the Northern Rivers Jobs Plan can contact Craig Jenkins, Business Development Manager in NSW