Jobs, jobs, jobs: Is this even an election issue? Yes, because …

Unemployment numbers, according to Federal and State governments are at an all time low.

In NSW, the unemployment rate is 3.5%, Premier Dominic Perottet said.

So is the topic of jobs still an election issue. It is of course much more complex than the numbers. There are people who work more than one job to pay the bills and there is the issue of wages and the value of the work that is done.

We asked the Page candidates:

With large numbers of people unemployed and underemployed, what would you do to boost real employment?

Tom Searles

Liberal Democrats

NSW fired over 15,000 medical practitioners for not receiving a vaccine. This has put enormous pressure on our health care system, in addition to being completely ineffective to stop the spread of the virus and entirely unethical.

Further to this I would begin to decentralise our education, health care and other systems that inhibit small business and growth.

Ian Williamson

United Australia

United Australia’s Party policy on a 15% iron ore export license will make Australian labour competitive on the world market. This will grow our manufacturing industry into the future as we will be an export superpower in the steel market. This not only increases jobs but ensures pollution standards will be met when producing steel as once the ore and coal leave the country, we lose all say in the environmental impact of the process. As we grow this industry the Australian super fund money currently invested overseas will have strong Australian industries to invest in.

Patrick Deegan


The Federal Government has dropped the ball on productivity, and now many Australians are in insecure work or having to do two or three jobs to make ends meet.  A Labor Government will reinvigorate Australia’s enterprise bargaining system to promote productivity and jobs.  Bringing business and unions together to collaborate in the national interest is the only way we can increase both profits and wages without inflationary pressure.  That’s why Labor will urgently convene an Employment Summit to bring employers and unions together to improve productivity and job security.

Heather Smith

Australian Federation

We need to get a real understanding of what is driving the situation. Nationally the unemployment rate is at historic lows and many parts of the country are crying out for staff in all professions and trades.  Locally, there are complex issues at play.

I want additional investment in mental health at the top of the list as poor mental health is a barrier to participation in the workplace.  We need to accept that covid pandemic rules were incredibly hard on many small businesses limiting their capacity to survive let alone grow, and this directly impacted the number of jobs and the hours available. Implementing effective solutions around childcare are sorely needed. I would like to see relocation packages offered to enable people to take up opportunities in other parts of the region.

Serge Killingbeck


TNL proposes the introduction of a voluntary job guarantee scheme that provides for unemployed people to sign onto a scheme of voluntary public works that pays a living wage, giving them the dignity of employment and the opportunity to learn new skills.

We also propose that all social security payment should provide recipients with sufficient income to participate fully in society, including being able to afford to productively look for work.

Hanabeth Luke


I will strongly support our locally owned small businesses, farmers, farming cooperatives and manufacturing industries. We need to develop a more secure and robust supply chain that depends less on overseas manufacture and processing, instead boosting these industries here to participate in a strong future economy.

I would like to see the return of penalty rates, which are an important boost for people, particularly young people working in tourism and hospitality. The cuts to penalty rates between 2017 and 2020 were demonstrated to have no effect in terms of increasing employment. Boosting vocational training and supporting tradespeople to take on apprentices would skill up our young and fill in gaps across sectors.

We do not have a response from Kevin Hogan (National), Kashmir Miller (Greens), Donna Pike (One Nation) or Brett Duroux (Indigenous Aboriginal Party of Australia).

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