22 September 2015

Major drop in Colac’s unemployment rate

There has been some very heartening news for the Colac community with the latest unemployment rate for Colac dropping from 8.5 per cent to 6.8 per cent.

Across the Colac Otway Shire, the unemployment rate is even lower at 5.7 per cent, dropping from 7.1 per cent in the previous quarter.

The good news has been revealed in the Small Area Labour Markets Australia June Quarter 2015 Report, published by the Australian Government.

These results are absolutely fantastic news for the Colac and district community. They demonstrates that our government’s delivery of major infrastructure projects such as the duplication of the Princes Highway helps to drive business investment, jobs growth and confidence.

These figures also reflect the growth of large employers such as Australian Lamb Company (ALC), Bulla Dairy and AKD as well as the success of agricultural sector as a driver of jobs growth and opportunity.

Last October, through the Geelong Region Innovation and Investment Fund, I was delighted to announce a grant of $3.25m to support a $22m investment by ALC and up to 200 more jobs.

Whether it be duplicating the Princes Highway, upgrading Colac Central Reserve, abolishing the carbon tax, delivering eight mobile base stations across Colac Otway or rolling out the NBN, I am incredibly proud of the investments our government is making across the region.

The Australian Government is absolutely committed to reducing youth unemployment and helping more young people into jobs. Our government’s $331m Youth Employment Strategy has a very strong focus on working with local agencies to support young people into work, along with our $6.8 billion Jobactive program. The $212m Transition to Work program is designed to provide a more intensive level of support to young people most at risk of long term unemployment than is available in mainstream employment services.

Last night I attended a farmers’ seminar hosted by the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria and Australian Dairy Farmers in Colac. There is deep concern about Labor’s attempts to derail our China Australia Free Trade Agreement which is so important for jobs – for agriculture, small business and exporters.

I am so excited about Colac’s potential. While there is more work to be done, these latest figures demonstrate the growing confidence underpinning the growth of this wonderful region.

22 September 2015