Green calls for job funds
By Bernie Brian
WOLLONGONG — Greens candidate for Bulli Carole Medcalfe says local unemployment, already 24%, is bound to get worse with the completion of major construction projects at Southern Copper and the BHP Steel number five blast furnace.
"We are proposing a four-point job creation and regional employment strategy", Medcalfe said. "Firstly, CEP or RED type job creation schemes must be reintroduced as a matter of urgency.
"Secondly, regional investment agreements must be reached with major companies. Either they should begin to think outside their traditional investment patterns or they should kick some money into a community job creation pot. If that takes a regional tax on major corporations, then so be it."
Medcalfe also called on the state and federal governments to fund skill-enhancing jobs to improve and protect the environment, and a local unemployed people's organisation.
In a historic decision on May 15, the South Coast Labour Council endorsed Medcalfe as well as the ALP candidate for the seat of Bulli.
This is the first time in many years the SCLC has endorsed a non-ALP candidate. Senior officials of the council were clearly unhappy that Green candidates were even invited to address the body. n