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."