The ACTU welcomes the Jobs for the Future in Regional Areas Inquiry, beginning today in Melbourne.

Unemployment in regional areas, especially among young people, has become a hallmark of the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison Governments. Massive cuts to skills training, refusal to address rorting of the visa system and lack of investment in regional infrastructure has meant that good jobs are few and far between.

Any plan for the future of the Australian economy must address these shortcomings and find new ways to promote employment in the regions.

The ACTU looks forward to participating in this inquiry.

Quotes attributable to ACTU Assistant Secretary Scott Connolly:

“Regional unemployment is a huge problem which the Morrison Government has directly contributed to by cutting skills training and failing to reform the visa system.

“Action on climate change cannot come at the expense of jobs for regional communities. Transition is not only eminently possible but critically important for communities and the strength of the national economy.

“Climate change represents an opportunity to create entirely new industries, and must also create jobs for the communities which will be most effected by a reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions.

“We look forward to participating in this important inquiry.”