Federal Member for Paterson Meryl Swanson will host the Australian Jobs Taskforce on Thursday, October 12, with hearings in Kurri Kurri and Raymond Terrace.


Ms Swanson said she was pleased Labor had recognised the importance of job creation in the Hunter and Port Stephens and had accepted her invitation to hold hearings here.


The taskforce is a Federal Labor caucus committee, and its chair Susan Lamb and secretary Justine Keay will attend the hearings, along with local invited business groups, unions, employment agencies, councils, employers and job seekers.


“The taskforce is travelling around Australia to hear from local people about barriers to finding work, and come up with opportunities and solutions that will help communities create jobs,” Ms Swanson said.


The hearings will be held in areas of high unemployment. In March 2017, Raymond Terrace had 7.8% of people unemployed, and Kurri Kurri had 7.5%, compared to a then national average of 5.9%.


“Kurri has been badly affected by the downturn in mining and manufacturing, and the economy is one in transition, with construction, hospitality and tourism creating new jobs. “Raymond Terrace has experienced high unemployment for a sustained 20-year period.”


Ms Swanson said youth unemployment was an issue that particularly concerned her, and she hoped young people would take up her invitation to have their voices heard.


“I hear over and over how hard it is for young people to get a job, and Labor will strive to create opportunities for our young, through education, training and meaningful work.”