The Guardian February 14, 2001


Call to reverse wrong policies

The United Trades and Labor Council of South Australia (UTLC) has called 
on the State Olsen Government to pressure the Federal Government to address 
forecast higher unemployment throughout the State.

The UTLC say that unemployment is set worsen because of the affect of the 
US and world downturn on Australia.

UTLC Secretary Chris White warned that regional economies such as South 
Australia's, despite good export growth, will be hit again with more 
business closures unless there is strong intervention from government.

"The Federal Government should be pressured by political, industry and 
community groups to focus additional targeted spending in the Costello 
budget in May 2001", said Mr White.

"Despite the cut in interest rates, the Treasurer has to realise that it is 
not socially responsible to have a large surplus when there is a worsening 
jobs crisis in South Australia."

The UTLC is calling for specific industries to be targeted for assistance 
for exports and import replacement, plus more for research and innovation 
with the focus on small to medium enterprises.

The UTLC also warned of an electoral backlash in the State against the 
Federal Government unless action is taken, with the State's unemployment 
rate above the national average and likely to worsen.

A package of funding would include:

* capital works spending on roads, health, education and IT;

* infrastructure for public housing:

* more funds for training programs and an increase in youth trainees by 
State and Federal Governments;

* financial assistance for job programs through networks of regional and 
economic boards and at local government level, focusing on suburbs with the 
highest unemployment.

"This requires the Howard Government to reverse their economic rationalist 
policies", said Chris White.

"The community, business and workforce have been adversely hit over the 
last decade by the lowering of protection, deregulation, globalisation and 
restructuring."

Back to index page