Alex Fletcher and Tyana Torrisi with their three-week-old baby Abbey and daughter Bree, 5.
Alex Fletcher and Tyana Torrisi with their three-week-old baby Abbey and daughter Bree, 5. Jacklyn Wagner

Young couple's work fears

THE biggest issue facing Tyana Torrisi and Alex Fletcher this council election is whether or not they have a future in Lismore.

The young parents of newborn Abbey and Bree, 5, talked to The Northern Star yesterday about their dreams and aspirations.

They want to buy their own home but it looks like they'll have to move elsewhere to reach that goal.

Mr Fletcher has lived in Lismore since he was seven and is a qualified aged care nurse, but cannot find a full-time job despite a number of aged care organisations advertising for employees on the Northern Rivers.

"We just don't see ourselves staying in Lismore because the work isn't here," Ms Torrisi said.

"It's all about work for us - you need to bring in decent income to be able to afford things these days, so you need to go where the work is."

She thinks commercial rates should be kept low to encourage businesses to come to Lismore - even if it pushes up residential rates.

"It will only make things better ... the more people that get work, the more they can afford the residential rates."

Mr Fletcher has started looking for job opportunities elsewhere such as Tweed Heads.

"When it comes down to it, we need to move where there's more work. Living in Tweed Heads, for example, we could branch out and work on the Gold Coast," he said.

"I don't think the council can create more jobs, but if there were more jobs out there, I think we would stay ... We'd be able to buy; we'd be able to afford the rates and stay."

They believe the jobs issue will decide whether Lismore can keep its status as a regional centre, because without more jobs, young families like themselves cannot build a future in the town.

"A lot of our friends with kids our age are considering moving on," Ms Torrisi said.



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