Wide Bay candidates reveal their plans to fix unemployment
JOBS are an election staple but with Gympie's unemployment rate 7.56 as of December and the Wide Bay's youth unemployment a staggering 19.8 per cent, there is unlikely to be a more pressing issue in the electorate.
It is to this background the Wide Bay's federal election candidates have outlined their plans and policies for moving the region forward.
These answers were given as part of a wider questionnaire for which their answers are being run daily in the lead-up to the May 18 election.
* The One Nation and Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party candidates did not reply to our questions. Candidates have been listed in their ballot draw order.
How will you address Gympie's high general and youth unemployment levels?
Daniel Bryar, GRN
WE NEED to get more people into our TAFE and universities without lumbering them with repayable debt, just like it was 30 years ago.
The James Nash State High School/Queensland TAFE trade training centre is a great opportunity to make our youth more employable with Cert I/II done before leaving high school.
We need to also invest in sunrise industries like renewables and EVs (electric vehicles), not sunset industries like coal.
Jason Scanes, ALP
YOUTH unemployment is a significant concern in Gympie and indeed across the entire Wide Bay region.
There's been significant funding cuts to TAFE across the region.
Labor's serious about tackling that issue - we're going to invest $1 billion to fix the broken and dismantled TAFE system in Australia.
It means young people are going to be able to get into the trades where we have a skills gap.
Labor's also committing $121 million to the Veterans Employment Policy.
We have a significant number of veterans migrating to the Wide Bay region because it's attractive, cheap, close to the beach, quiet and has a great climate.
But we to need to make sure those people have access to and can get into employment as well.
Labor is also look at abolishing the ASL cap which will create about 1200 additional public service positions and double the number of indigenous rangers throughout the region.
Andrew Schebella, UAP
We need to change the environment to do business we need to change the tax system giving incentive to start a business in regional Queensland, with this comes growth, jobs and prosperity.
With small business having more money in their kitty they will be able to employ our youth and grow the community.
The United Australia Party is committed to helping the next generation have opportunities while remaining in their local communities.
Llew O'Brien, LNP
WIDE Bay youths will have new pathways into employment through the Liberal and Nationals Government's $58 million national Industry Training Hub program.
Wide Bay has been selected as one of 10 pilot sites to host a hub that will strengthen partnerships between local schools, employers and industries, and ensure that vocational education programs are tailored to meet local workforce needs and skills demands.
Young people, aged 15-24, in Wide Bay will also be eligible to apply for a scholarship to undertake an eligible VET Approved Program of Study at the Certificate III to Advanced Diploma level.
Scholarships, valued at up to $17,500 each, will be made available in the 10 locations.
Youth unemployment is a significant issue in our region and this initiative will help young people develop skills that are in high demand, to make a successful transition from school to training and work, and bring down the youth unemployment rate.
Tim Jerome, IND
THE key to fixing the high unemployment is found in supporting local businesses.
Local businesses are the backbone of any community.
Gympie (Regional) Council puts more red tape and obstacles in front of local businesses than most cites in the region and around Queensland.
How do I know? Because I have talked with other councils.
It is impossible for local businesses to compete and prosper with the red tape and obstacles that are placed in front of them.
Gympie region businesses need support from the three tiers of government - local, state and federal.
Bundaberg is good example when the three tiers of government work together to support small businesses and encourage new small businesses by offering assistance and making it appealing for new business to start up.
It happens by cutting the red tape and providing financial and promotional assistance.
Help and support a local business then you solve the high unemployment rate of a city.