ON THE HUNT: Chris Stephens feels for young people trying to find a job in Bundaberg.
ON THE HUNT: Chris Stephens feels for young people trying to find a job in Bundaberg. Adam Wratten

ELECTION HOT TOPIC: Candidates reveal job plans

THERE'S no doubt jobs and employment are the issues at the top of the list for what's needed in the region, and the 2019 Hinkler candidates have detailed what they will do if elected.

The NewsMail asked candidates what they thought needed to be done to create further employment opportunities in the region and how important the issue was to Hinkler constituents.

Earlier this year demographer Bernard Salt looked at data to go with the Future Bundaberg campaign and found that people were leaving the region to engage in tertiary education and returning as a lifestyle choice once they were over 45.

Mr Salt said retaining youths had long been a challenge for the region and recommended creating ways to sooner bring back those who had moved away.

From new plant-based technologies in farming and agriculture to more funding for local businesses and trades-based education, find out what each candidate will do to create a better region moving forward.

The responses are in alphabetical order based on the candidate's surname.


HINKLER: Animal Justice Party candidate Amy Byrnes.
HINKLER: Animal Justice Party candidate Amy Byrnes. contributed

OUR region is Australia's food bowl and frankly we need more investment and vision from the Australian Government.

The Animal Justice Party and I will set up a national sovereign wealth fund to invest in sustainable, climate-proof horticulture.

The fund will allow scientists and farmers to shift from using animals to innovative new technologies and plant based products.

As the local representative, my role is to make sure these high-tech jobs and new market opportunities are available here in Hinkler.

The AJP and I will work to ensure further employment opportunities through green initiatives like restoring and managing land that has previously been cleared and providing our community secure, and meaningful work caring for nature.

We support investment into eco-tourism and environmentally sustainable industry and would investigate how we can attract this to Hinkler.

Our vision means a range of meaningful and kind employment for locals, from regenerating the land and growing our food to researching and developing the next generation of locally made, plant products.

This issue goes to the heart of job security, food security, biosecurity and environmental security.

It's cruel for government to continue the cycle of drought, floods, bailouts and depression.

We already produce so much of Australia's fresh produce and we already have magnificent wildlife and ecosystems around us, it's time the government helped our region capitalise on our strengths.


HINKLER: United Australia Party candidate Joseph Ellul.
HINKLER: United Australia Party candidate Joseph Ellul. Wayne Tait

WHEN we talk about Hinkler and the current unemployment rate, we have to look at business who are the potential employers of those people and how they operate in Australia.

We know that under the current government small business are being over taxed and under supported to be profitable and viable businesses.

All Australians are handicapped by a complex and uncertain tax system which is limiting rather than promoting what Australians might achieve for themselves and their families.

The United Australia Party wants a simpler life, fairer system so every Australian has a fair go.

The ATO is responsible for more liquidations and winding up of business than any other party in Australia. Each time a business is closed we lose jobs.

You only have to look around the Hinkler region to see that every day Australians who are having a crack, creating jobs and running businesses are being hit hard.

With an unemployment rate of 10.5 per cent under the current government, this has to be a big issue going into the elections.

Small business employ more than any other sector, and often businesses are forced to close because they can't afford to pay tax ... tax on money they haven't even earned yet.

Most business are required to pay their tax before they earn the money. If we shifted the due date to after the money has been earned, that would be an additional $70 billion available in our economy each year. Now tell me that won't create new jobs.

Hinkler needs change. And we want to deliver on that.


HINKLER: One Nation candidate Damian Huxham.
HINKLER: One Nation candidate Damian Huxham. contributed

I DON'T believe there is a silver bullet to fix our decades old excessively high unemployment and underemployment issues. In saying that, employment opportunities can become available with the introduction of new industry within our region.

Feedback from locals has indicated the industrial hemp sector is one industry that would offer our region great opportunity.

It also has the potential to create manufacturing opportunities because of the product's very versatile uses.

Focusing on setting up a high tech hub of Australia within our region with high tech manufacturing for Bundaberg and IT industry for Hervey Bay has the potential to attract higher than average incomes.

The more high income earners we can attract the more money we will have circulating within our regional economy.

The biggest challenges for our region I've learnt from speaking with many locals is trying to keep our youths here, earning, learning and growing their families.

I am a supporter of hands-on training. Our apprenticeship policy, which was recently adopted by the government, encourages trades learnings and as a tradie myself I fully support our policy, which encourages locals to stay and learn a trade which will give them tools for life.

Employment is an extremely important issue. Our region has almost the highest unemployed and under employed figures in the country and has done for well over a decade, yet we have so much opportunity to attract industry and manufacturing right on our doorstep.


HINKLER: Independent candidate David Norman.
HINKLER: Independent candidate David Norman. Facebook

WE NEED to be more innovative in seeking out new business opportunities and attracting existing national companies to the region.

I would work closely with existing industry groups and businesses to examine new opportunities both domestically and internationally.

These opportunities need to be fostered and supported both from a regulatory and financial perspective. Existing regional business could all do with an injection of government sponsored innovation and support.

To increase jobs we should be giving very specific and monitored financial incentives to both large and small business, which can only be gained when new full-time jobs are created.

Unemployment (and under-employment) is one of the big issues for our Hinkler region.

The region's population is expanding much faster than available jobs here.

The lack of job opportunities leads to increased poverty, despondency, lack of motivation, increased crime, alcohol/drug abuse, relationship problems (including domestic violence), mental health issues and even suicide.

Where high levels of unemployment exists for extended years, generational unemployment can create a culture of not expecting to work and welfare dependency.

I would also push for more government funding to make education and skills-based training through government institutions like TAFE, cheaply available to all seeking them.

Also, we need more funding support to industries and business to put on more trade apprentices that will develop into lifelong careers.


HINKLER: Labor candidate Richard Pascoe.
HINKLER: Labor candidate Richard Pascoe. contributed

CREATING local jobs and opportunities for employment is an absolute priority for me.

Labor will always put local workers first because Bill Shorten and Labor will deliver a fair go for all Australians - not just the top end of town.

This is why I am proud to be the Labor candidate for Hinkler.

And this is why we will invest in local jobs and apprenticeships, not loopholes for multinationals.

Our build local, buy local plan for government contracts means that local workers and businesses will have greater access than ever to local infrastructure projects.

Investing in our TAFE facilities to give people the skills they need to find quality jobs.

We will be investing in pre-apprentice and adult apprenticeship programs.

Labor will waive the upfront fees for 100,000 TAFE students who choose to learn the skills that Australia needs.

The creation of jobs is one of the most important issues in this upcoming election.

With unemployment, especially youth unemployment, remaining stubbornly high for an extended period, we must ensure all levels of government are working together to make a change.

We must support our local businesses and drive innovative industries to the area.

Whether this is through jobs in the renewable energy space, capitalising and expanding the current tourism market, or more work in the aged care sector, if elected, it will be my priority to ensure that we are building a strong economy that works for all of us.

I know that with hard work and a commitment to work with our local businesses and all levels of government, we can make a difference to our area.


HINKLER: LNP candidate Keith Pitt.
HINKLER: LNP candidate Keith Pitt. Mike Knott BUN300818PITT2

INVESTING in infrastructure and supporting business to expand are ways that the Coalition Government is already helping to create employment in Hinkler.

Projects such as the Bundaberg Brewed Drinks super brewery, the Marine Industry Precinct and the multi-use conveyor at the Port of Bundaberg, as well as road upgrades, will all lead to more local jobs.

Jobs is the number one issue for the constituents of Hinkler, closely followed by cost of living.

The Coalition Government has invested millions of dollars into job creating projects in the Hinkler electorate.

Attracting businesses to the region will mean more local jobs. Which is why the $173 million invested in the Hinkler Regional Deal is so important to strengthen the local economy and bring more local jobs.

The Hinkler Regional Deal will see millions invested in vital infrastructure projects which will make doing business here much easier.

Several projects funded through the Regional Jobs and Investment Program have begun construction and some are nearing completion which will increase job numbers locally.

A recent course which graduated from Impact had almost everyone employed before they finished which is fantastic to see. I'd like to see more apprenticeships and traineeships in Hinkler.

We have seen a reduction in the unemployment rate recently, and I am working hard to see that continues, however, there are some businesses who are struggling to get reliable employees, so there are jobs available.

  • Greens candidate Anne Jackson and Independent candidate Moe Tuaraga did not provide responses to the NewsMail.

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