LIBERAL Gilmore MP Joanna Gash has heaped criticism on the job creation ambitions of her Illawarra Labor counterparts, saying the government's previous efforts on the employment front had resulted in "dismal failure".
Ms Gash took aim at Throsby MP Stephen Jones and Cunningham's Sharon Bird after the two outlined ways the region could secure some of the federal government's $1 billion plan, unveiled Sunday, to boost jobs.
Mr Jones claimed the Illawarra was well-positioned to secure two of eight new "industry-innovation precincts" flagged by the government. Ms Bird said she would work with researchers and businesses on a "clever and strategic" plan for attracting funding once details of the precincts were released.
Ms Gash said previous efforts by Labor to stimulate job growth in the region had resulted in further job losses, failed job funds and the loss of steel export operations.
"I do have to commend Stephen Jones and Sharon Bird on having the sheer hide and cheek to now come out and say they have all the answers," Ms Gash said.
"These last three years have seen this Illawarra lose many thousands of manufacturing jobs.
"The Innovations and Investment Fund set up by Labor to deal with the short-term fallout of thousands of the suddenly unemployed can only be described as a dismal failure."
The Innovation and Investment Fund was a key plank of the government's response to BlueScope's decision in August 2011 to axe 800 employees at the Port Kembla steelworks.
In November, after seven months in play, with the first $16.2 million in grants awarded, the program created 66 of the 470 jobs promised before mid-2014.