Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood MP has raised concern over the Andrews Labor Government Back to Work Plan.
Mr Blackwood said the Back to Work Act will establish a fund with an aim to provide financial relief to companies who hire unemployed or retrenched workers.
“The Back to Work Plan will offer up to $1,000 to employers to assist with costs involved to employ unemployed or retrenched workers,” Mr Blackwood said.
Mr Blackwood expressed his concerns regarding the legislation which was proposed this week at the commencement of the 2015 Parliament. His concerns included the lack of clarity surrounding the criteria of eligibility and the potential high level of bureaucracy that employers will have to endure to prove their eligibility.
“The Plan is intended to help create up to 100,000 new jobs in Victoria over the next two years. I believe that businesses will hesitate about participating in this scheme for the sake of $1,000.
“The eligibility criteria and probation period are also areas of concern and I have serious doubts that Labor will achieve their target.”
Mr Blackwood said the lack of Labor’s commitments to Narracan in the 2014 state election was very disappointing and are now only potentially offering $1,000 with conditions attached.
“This is in complete contrast to the investment and support provided to businesses by the Coalition Government,” Mr Blackwood said.
“I am very apprehensive that Labors plan will replace the successful Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund (LVIIF), to which the Coalition Government invested $15 million. LVIIF supported more than 40 local projects, created 1100 jobs and leveraged close to $100 million in investment for our region.
“The Labor Government changing tack in terms of job creation in regional Victoria is most concerning.”
Mr Blackwood said the scheme will potentially come into effect this April but urges the Labor Government to provide much clearer information about the plan and its objectives.
“An estimated 3,700 jobs may be lost due to Labor not proceeding with the East West Link project, a contradiction to “Every Job is Worth Fighting For” which they attest within their Back to Work Plan,” Mr Blackwood said.
“These actions by the Labor Government, confirm their lack of commitment for the business sector and the Narracan district.”