By Steve Whan
Assessment by Deloitte access economics that Canberra’s economy is the slowest in the nation will come to no surprise to struggling businesses in Queanbeyan, Cooma and the region, says Steve Whan Country Labor candidate for Monaro
Deloitte Access economics, says that Canberra’s only economic bright spot is the demolition and re-construction of Mr fluffy houses – obviously an economic bright spot not a personal bright spot for those people involved.
Steve Whan says Canberra’s economic downturn is very directly the result of the Abbott government’s policies and the rest of the region is feeling it too.
“Real estate agents are telling me that house prices have dropped, vacancy rates are up and commercial premises are going unleased in Queanbeyan, Cooma and the region,” said Mr Whan.
“Cooma residents are telling me constantly that they’re worried about the number of vacant shops in their town centre and Queanbeyan’s main street now has more vacant shops than at any time since the Howard cuts in the 1990s.
“Tony Abbott has been a disaster for our region. Cuts to public sector jobs have hit hard and many people are telling me they are concerned. Yet their local MPs won’t stand up for them, not a word of criticism of Tony Abbott’s cuts from John Barilaro or Peter Hendy. And despite the fact that our region’s unemployment has been rising consistently since John Barilaro was elected he still insists everything is fine.
“Unfortunately the brutal Abbott public sector cuts have gone hand in hand with the Nationals cuts to State organisations like the Department of Primary Industries, National Parks, TAFE and many other state government agencies.
“I am proud of the fact that while I was local Member we had a net increase in public sector jobs and overall jobs in this region. Labor’s policies will help to put our region back on track and give the people who are struggling to find work a bit of hope.”