At the election this Saturday, we have a choice. We can re-elect Colin Barnett and continue with the same mismanagement and lack of policies that delivered our current disastrous economic situation, or we can elect a McGowan Labor Government and choose the party offering a real plan for WA jobs.
Colin Barnett’s record on jobs speaks for itself. When he came to power in 2008, our economy was the envy of the nation. Eight years later, our unemployment rate has more than doubled and the number of unemployed has more than tripled. There’s over 90,000 people who can’t find a job today in our state.
The Barnett Government has actively made the problem worse with their policy decisions. They’ve awarded government project after government project to foreign companies, sending thousands of local jobs and millions of taxpayer dollars offshore. Even as the unemployment rate has reached new highs, they’ve continued to support bringing in overseas workers on temporary 457 visas, rather than putting local workers first.
Under their watch TAFE fees have skyrocketed, in some cases by as much as 600 per cent, while the number of apprenticeships in government departments and trading enterprises have been slashed. As a direct result, youth unemployment in WA has grown to 11.5 per cent and it’s harder than ever for young people to gain the skills they need to start their careers.
They’ve failed to support local industry and actively campaign for WA jobs. The government has been asleep at the wheel on defence opportunities, letting decades-long federally funded projects go to South Australia. They’ve refused to take advantage of the skilled tradespeople we have here to build new railcars for our transport system.
The Barnett Government’s record on jobs can be encapsulated by the Perth Stadium footbridge debacle. They could have prioritising local jobs and local content by awarding this project to a local manufacturer, reinvesting taxpayer dollars back into the community and helping fight unemployment. Instead, they awarded the $54 million dollar project to Malaysia to be manufactured with Chinese steel. The result is a substandard quality bridge that’s been delayed and is potentially structurally unsound.
Colin Barnett has led us into record debt and deficit, the highest unemployment in a generation and has presented no vision for how to turn the current situation around. We can’t afford another four years of economic mismanagement and growing unemployment.
This Saturday, vote for the party that will put WA jobs first.