My adjournment matter this evening is for the Premier, and it relates to the youth unemployment rates in rural and regional Victoria.
It is no surprise that this is a major issue confronting youth right across the state but particularly in rural and regional Victoria. Indeed the unemployment rate in the Premier’s electorate of South-West Coast is the highest in the state.
That is also part of my electorate of Western Victoria Region, and I have serious concerns about the situation we have there. It is an issue that cannot be avoided by the government when you see the Warrnambool Standard running a banner headline of ‘Our youth in crisis’ on its front page and giving example after example of the problems we are facing in our local communities.
On the front page of the Age of 26 August there was a photo of a young Warrnambool lad called Arie Eddy, who said he had applied for 780 jobs and had had just one interview. He is quoted as having said:
- It constantly makes me feel worthless.
Youth unemployment is a real issue, and the government cannot have its head in the sand, especially when youth unemployment is coupled with very low school retention rates in western Victoria.
The action I seek is for the Premier to outline to me what plan he has for alleviating the youth unemployment crisis not just in his electorate of South-West Coast but in the rest of western Victoria.