Source: The Mercury, Friday, October 10, 1997, p.1


Rundle slams the knockers

 

Tassie sinks
deeper
in jobs
gloom

 
By DAVID CARRIGG 
Business Reporter 
 
PREMIER Tony Rundle hit 
out at anti-development 
groups yesterday as shock 
unemployment figures rocked 
the state. 
 
   Tasmania's unemployment rate hit 
11.5% - a jump of 0.5% in a month 
and the worst rate in 3 years. 
 
   And workforce participation 
slumped to 58.4%-also the worst of 
any Australian state. 
 
   Tasmania and South Australia were 
the only states to record an increase 
in the unemployment rate in the 
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures 
for September. 
 
   The Tasmanian figures defied the 
national trend which saw a fall in 
the unemployment rate to 8.6%. 
 
   Mr Rundle said people could not 
object to development and then 
complain about the high 
unemployment rate. 
 
   He said anti-development groups 
opposed the proposed $100 million 
Princes Wharf project before details 
had been released. 
 
   And he expected resistance to the 
proposed $60 million industrial 
maritime park at Margate. 
 
   "We must be more positive about 
investment and jobs or face high 
unemployment," he said. 
 
   "You can't oppose development 
then complain every time 
unemployment figures are released. 
 
   "Tasmanians need to encourage 
developers investing in projects such 
 
as this 
 
"We must stop trying to knock 
Continued Page 2

Rundle slams knockers

 
FROM PAGE 1 
 
projects on the head 
before they see the light 
of day. 
 
   But Deputy Opposition 
Leader Paul Len-non 
yesterday hit out at the 
State Government. 
 
   "The Government 
has a history of 
announcing big 
projects before they come 
to fruition and we hope 
they aren't 
preannouncing projects 
again to try and deflect 
public attention from the 
very poor state of the 
Tasmanian economy." 
 
   Mr Lennon said 
investors were being 
scared away by minority 
government. 
 
   "Tony Rundle and 
(Greens leader) Christine 
Milne are jointly running 
the state and that's scared 
investors away," he said. 
 
   "The Government has 
created this unstable 
political environment, it 
promised people at the 
last election it wouldn't 
allow minority 
government to exist in 
Tasmania and it has. 
 
   "Tasmania's economic 
position continues to 
worsen while the 
Australian economy has 
picked up substantially 
over the past month." 
 
   A State Government 
spokesman said the 
Government did not 
know when potential 
Princes Wharf developer 
Oceanport would release 
details of its proposal. 
 
   Oceanport won the 
tender to develop the site 
last year. 
 
   He said the Tasmanian 
Greens' concern about the 
height of the project was 
unfounded. 
 
   Kingborough Land 
Care Group chairman 
Flora Fox said the organ- 
isation would examine 
the Margate shipyard 
proposal. 
 
   "If the developer looks 
after existing industries 
and meets environ- 
mental guidelines we can 
have a win-win situ- 
ation, no one's anti- 
development or anti- 
jobs," she said. 
 
   Seasonally adjusted 
figures show Australia's 
September unemploy- 
ment rate fell to 8.6% in 
September, with partici- 
pation rate at 63.3%. 
 
   Mr Lennon said the 
State Government was 
committed to shedding 
1,000 public sector jobs 
by the end of the year. 
 
   "There are 10,500 Tas- 
manians who have lost 
their job since Tony Run- 
dle became Premier and 
they must accept res- 
ponsibility for these fig- 
ures." 
 
   Mr Rundle said the 
Opposition continued to 
talk down the economy 
for political reasons. 
 
   The Tasmanian 
Chamber of Commerce 
and Industry said the 
unemployment figures 
should shake Tasman- 
ians out of their lethargy 
and accept that radical 
changes were needed 
quickly. 
 
   Chief executive Tim 
Abey urged the Govern- 
ment to proceed "full 
steam ahead" with its 
Directions Statement and 
the Nixon rec- 
ommendations. 
 
   The September ABS 
figures show Tasmanian 
women and youth hit 
hardest by unemploy- 
ment. 
 
   While the unemploy- 
ment rate for women 
jumped from 11% to 
12.7% in September, the 
rate for men dropped from 
11% to 10.6%. 
 
   The workforce partici- 
pation rate for women 
also continued its down- 
ward spiral, hitting 
47.7%. The youth 
unemployment rate is 
42.5%.


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