Media release

Generation of regional jobless need our help, says Jen Sackley

YOUTH unemployment in regional Queensland is one of the most critical issues facing the state and will lead to a generation of job-deprived young people if not tackled immediately, according to United Australia Party Secretary for North Queensland Jen Sackley.

A report commissioned by the Brotherhood of St Laurence earlier this year presented truly alarming figures and brought into sharp focus the need for fresh youth employment initiatives, particularly in outback areas.

Nationally, youth unemployment hovers just over 12 percent, which is more than double the overall unemployment rate.

However, in outback Queensland youth unemployment is running at a staggering 67 percent and tops 18 percent in Townsville.

In light of the figures, Mrs Sackley says United Australia Party will ensure job creation for young Australians in regional areas is a key issue at the next federal election.

“These numbers are a national disgrace. No wonder young people in North Queensland are feeling hopeless and unwanted,” Ms Sackley said.

“Vocational training programs are important, but it’s incentives for investment and industry that will create the jobs for newly-skilled young people.

“The United Australia Party’s zonal taxation policy is one idea we can implement to create those incentives for people and industry to move to regional areas. A substantial tax break for regional areas will decentralise Australia and support the regions where the bulk of our wealth is created.

“More of the same isn’t working – we need new ideas, and we need them now. Otherwise, our young people will continue to be forced to leave their home towns and head to already overcrowded cities.

“The best thing we can do for our young Australians is to grow the economy so everybody has the chance to participate.

“The United Australia Party stands for building a bigger economic pie so everybody has the same opportunity to share in the prosperity,” Ms Sackley said.