MS TIERNEY– To ask the Assistant Treasurer (for the Minister for Employment and Trade): In relation to a number of issues raised in a recent article in the Colac Herald on 1 April 2013 on unemployment including that Colac’s unemployment has increased for the fourth quarter in a row and that Colac’s unemployment rate is 7.3 per cent, which is higher than at any point in the last four years: What policies or projects will the Napthine government put in place to ensure that the high unemployment rate in Colac will not increase for a fifth quarter in a row.
I am informed that:
The Victorian government, through the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation, is working closely with industry in Colac to facilitate new investment and business growth opportunities to assist with the generation of new jobs.
As part of the G21 region, industry in Colac is also eligible for support under the Greater Geelong Industry Fund to support new job creation.
The government, through Regional Development Victoria (RDV), has also invested $810 000 over four years in the Advancing Country Towns project for Colac. This project is supporting the growth of the economy and has projects focused on local workforce planning and new business opportunities.
The government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund (RGF) is helping communities like Colac to deliver economic development projects that generate new employment outcomes. The Colac Otway Shire Council continues to work closely with RDV to advance projects under the RGF.
The government and Colac Otway Shire Council have recently worked with local businesses to identify potential employment opportunities in the region. An Employment Fair was recently held in Colac which was attended by the major regional employers looking to recruit skilled employees.
Our Workers in Transition program also supports employees impacted by significant business closures and provides retraining opportunities through access to the Victorian Training Guarantee.