In the third of our 7 Questions in 7 days, we asked our federal candidates: Unemployment and job security are key concerns for Illawarra voters – how would you address these issues?
Glenn Kolomeitz (ALP) Senate candidate for NSW
Regional Australia will benefit from the identification, by research and competitive intelligence, of innovative business opportunities in order to supply the domestic and global markets with needed goods and services.
Regional communities in China coupled innovation with skills and manufacturing adaptation to exploit that country's economic emergence. Communities in the United States, which have failed to embrace such innovation and adaptation in the manufacturing and technology sectors, have suffered a decline in investment and employment.
The University of Wollongong is already converting research into innovative business opportunities and is attracting investment.
Innovation plus skills adaptation is a recipe for investment, growth and jobs.
Stephen Jones, Labor
A strong, growing economy and fair workplace laws are critical.
Labor says that locals should always have priority over imported workers for jobs - I helped put these new laws in place.
Better access to skills training and intensive assistance for long-term unemployed job-seekers is making a difference. More needs to be done.
Labor has run successful Job Expos and helped locals get training for work as a truck driver, NBN fibre-optic technician and retail & hospitality - areas of workforce shortage.
Trade Training Centres are getting our kids off to a great start in a trade while still at school.
Larissa Mallinson, Liberal
A Coalition government will scrap the carbon tax to reduce sky-rocketing power costs, increasing job security and making it more attractive for Throsby businesses to hire new workers.
We will cut $1 billion worth of red and green tape each year.
We'll cut the company tax rate by 1.5 per cent from 1 July 2015.
Our plan will encourage more residents in Throsby to achieve their dream of starting their own business and creating local jobs.
We'll also support young job seekers by providing apprentices with interest-free "Trade Support Loans" of up to $20,000 over four years to help with their everyday costs.
Gary Anderson, Nationals
Unemployment and job security are key concerns for all Australians, we all need to provide for our families with a roof over our heads and put food on the table.
The Illawarra has a 15 per cent unemployment rate across the board and there is a 22 per cent youth unemployment rate in the Highlands at present.
Therefore, if I get the job, one of my first priorities will be to reduce these rates. We will do this by making it easier for small business to employ people here in Throsby and give small business the confidence to invest and employ more workers.
John Flanagan, Non Custodial Parent's Party
There are 43 per cent of child support payers out of work because of the child support scheme.
This equates to 1500 people in Cunningham (with similar numbers in other electorates).
To overcome this problem, the Non-Custodial Parents Party (Equal Parenting) would reverse the taxation treatment of child support payments and exclude overtime pay from child support calculations and/or set a fairer payment cap on child support payments. We will also ensure non-custodial parents are not financially penalised because the custodial parent chooses not to work when they have the ability to do so, and create a link between court-ordered custody arrangements and child support payments.
Helen Wilson, Greens
Youth unemployment here is 10 per cent higher than for adults, so job creation schemes should focus on getting young people into the job market. They need work experience and educational opportunities.
TAFE should be strengthened and university funding increased. Apprenticeships need boosting, with living wages and adequate training. The Greens also see creative jobs as jobs of the future. We'll value and promote our creative young people through living wage support and royalty schemes for young and emerging artists, startup funding for new arts businesses, and live music protections. The Greens will defend penalty rates and job security, especially to ensure better rights and conditions for weekend and casual workers, who are often young people. Secure jobs are sustainable jobs: jobs that will be available for the next generations.
Philip Clifford, Liberal
Only the Coalition has a plan to reduce unemployment and build a stronger, more stable and more prosperous economy in the Illawarra and across Australia.
We will create one million new jobs over the next five years and two million over the next decade. We will promote the Illawarra as an ideal place to set up enterprises, help boost consumer confidence and support the more than 28,000 local employers with tax cuts.
Our Coalition team will improve job security and increase employment opportunities by getting the basics right with strong leadership, sound economic management and supportive soft and hard infrastructure.
Ann Sudmalis, Liberal
The Coalition has committed to a national Green Army rollout, to give young people the opportunity to train, work and earn real wages.
A strong economy where small businesses feel confident to invest in their business and grow, is the greatest support for job opportunities.
Small businesses are the growth hub and need to be able invest in employee capital, increasing the number employed and the security of their positions.
One of the greatest impacts on business costs has been electricity, a direct consequence of the carbon tax. Repealing this tax improves the bottom line for business as well as reducing the enormous burden red tape.
Terry Barratt, Greens
The Greens have their eyes firmly fixed on an innovative and low-carbon economy. For strong jobs growth we will move rapidly to 100 per cent renewable energy throughout Australia.
To this end we will support local investment in solar energy infrastructure including local manufacture of component parts for a smarter, more skilled labour force we will increase funding for our Universities and TAFE. We will support small business by expanding tax breaks, strengthening the role of the national Small Business Commissioner and strengthening competition policy. We will also retain the NBN roll-out.
Neil Reilly, Labor
We will: Allow small businesses an upfront tax deduction on equipment purchases up to $10,000.
Support Skills Development and Apprenticeships: Students in years 9-12 will receive access to industry-relevant skills at Trade Training Centres and I'll support better funding of TAFE Services.
A cash boost for apprentices, a $6000 grant to buy new tools, rather than the burden of a $20,000 loan. Protect TAFE funding from state government cuts. Anyone who loses their job will get a "return to work plan" within two days of registering with an employment services provider, guaranteeing them access to further training.