Media Release - Tony Abbott Fails Newcastle Again

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19 February 2015

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) unemployment figures released today confirm that Tony Abbott and his Liberal Government have abandoned Newcastle.

ABS regional Labour Force data shows that unemployment in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie has climbed to 10%, the highest it has been in more than a decade and more than double the rate when the Abbott Liberal Government took office.

The last time Newcastle’s unemployment rate was in double-digits was when Tony Abbott was the Minister for Employment in 2003.

“Unemployment in Newcastle is spiraling out of control and the Abbott Liberal Government are turning a blind eye,” Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon said.

“This is the highest unemployment has been in our region for 12 years and it is a great concern. Every week I’m fielding calls from local employers saying that they are having to let more people go and there’s no sign of it stopping.”

“We’ve seen no plans for Australian jobs from Tony Abbott and no plan for industry. The only action he has taken for local manufacturers is to lock them out of government tenders and send vital work offshore.”

Earlier in the day Ms Claydon joined Shadow Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Anthony Albanese, to highlight the Abbott Liberal Government’s inaction in our region.

“Today the Shadow Minister and I returned to the Tourle Street bridge, a project independently identified by Infrastructure Australia as nationally significant in 2013. Funding for this project was secured by the former Labor government in the 2013 Budget,” Ms Claydon said.

“It’s been more than 18 months since the funding was secured by Labor but still no action on the ground. These are the sorts of projects that keep people in a job and keep local economies going, but the Abbott Liberal Government are sitting on their hands and jobs are going out the door.”

“I wish Tony Abbott would spend more time fighting for Australian jobs other than his own. I call on the Abbott Liberal Government to produce a real plan to tackle unemployment in our region.”

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Authorised by Sharon Claydon MP, 427 Hunter Street Newcastle