Landry responds to Capricornia's employment issues
FOLLOWING recent survey results, Capricornia MP Michelle Landry acknowledges employment as the hottest topic for locals this election.
While her focus this election campaign has centred around generating employment through the delivery job-creating infrastructure including the Rookwood Weir and the Rockhampton Ring Road, questions surround the government's approach towards key employment issues such as stagnating wages, cutting penalty rates, insecure work and under employment.
Ms Landry addressed the findings of the Centre for Future Work who determined that Capricornia's real wages were stagnant, falling by 7.47 per cent between 2012 and 2017.
She said this issue was dependent upon the role of the Fair Work Commission, an outside organisation whose decisions the government had no control over.
"The government can't pay for people's pay rises, it had to come from the growth of the business sector," Ms Landry said.
"The only way you can have better wages is if you have more work, more employment and for businesses to be thriving."
The incumbent member accused Labor of waging a class war "against the top end of town" when it was the multi-nationals, small businesses and medium businesses driving employment.
Her government supported growing businesses with incentives such as the $30,000 asset write off, with workers consequently reaping the rewards.
"That is the only way you're going to get wage growth is for businesses to be thriving, putting people on permanent employment and then wages will rise," she said.
Addressing the McKell Institute's finding that $16.6 million had been cut from the wages of Rockhampton's workers since 2017, Ms Landry blamed Labor who had set the ball in motion for the independent umpire the Fair Work Commission to make the decision on penalty rates, which was simply being upheld by her government.
While she was unable to cite evidence supporting the promised upswing in employment after the rates cut, Ms Landry said the cost of penalty rates was huge, forcing some local businesses to close their doors on public holidays.
Anecdotal evidence gathered in March by The Morning Bulletin canvassing 20 Rockhampton businesses in industries affected by the penalty rate cut found no reported upswing in employment, with many businesses refusing to pass on the cut to their staff.
On the issue of insecure work and underemployment, Ms Landry wants see more people in full time employment with her government's approach relying upon a strong economy to create the roles.
"That is the only way we're going to get more people into work," she said.
"I'm encouraging as much business growth as I can and that is the only way we're going to get people into more permanent employment, to have more permanent jobs in this region."