News of the loss of a further 300 jobs following an announcement by South32 is another devastating hammer blow to the Illawarra region, Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson said today.

“Today’s announcement of further coal industry job losses comes on top of the 500 jobs culled from BlueScope Steel last year.

“Nearly on a weekly basis we hear more announcements that local businesses are cutting back job numbers in the region.

“The State Government cannot sit back and pass the buck to the Federal Government to help stimulate the regional economy in the face of these constant job-cut announcements.

“I call on the State Government to use its next two State Budgets to start $800 million in public investment to the region by commencing the $250 million upgrade of the Shellharbour Hospital by 1 July 2016.

“The $550 million construction of the Albion Park Rail Bypass is expected to gain planning approvals by the end of this year and could start by 1 July 2017.

“This region cannot continue to take hammer blows on job cuts while the State Government just sits back and waits to start two projects for political headlines closer to the next state election in 2019.

“It’s time to stop playing politics with the two projects and start getting that $800 million public investment flowing into the Illawarra”, she said.


25 February 2016