Labor Minister Kyam Maher has revealed in State Parliament that a 40 per cent underspend on key jobs diversification programs has resulted in the Weatherill Government changing of the criteria.
This comes as ABS data released yesterday shows the unemployment rate of 9.1 per cent in the north, leaving 19,400 people unemployed in the north.
When asked in Parliament about whether the Weatherill Government spent all the funding allocated to automotive diversification programs in 2014/15, Automotive Transformation Minister, Kyam Maher said;
No, in the supplier diversification program the total funds were not expended in that year. We have made changes to a number of the programs that assist the automotive industry (Hansard, 17/11/2015).
In July this year, when Minister Maher outlined expenditure Labor’s Jobs Plan he revealed approximately one-third of allocated funding was not spent in the first two years.
“The increased unemployment rate in Adelaide’s north shows that we can’t afford to wait until 2017 to respond to the crisis that confronts us now,” said Shadow Minister for Automotive Transformation Dan van Holst Pellekaan.
“It is unfortunate for the job seekers in Adelaide’s north that the Labor Government dropped the ball when establishing the automotive transformation diversification programs.
“The Labor Government needs to adopt the measures proposed in the emergency Jobs Stimulus Package announced by the State Liberals this week.
“The Labor Government cannot continue its complacent attitude while employment opportunities dry up.”