Home' The Bunyip : July 9th 2014 Contents "THE BUNYIP" GAWLER, Wednesday, July 9, 2014 Page 5
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THE Federal Government has been ac-
cused of playing favourites with their own
while snubbing northern suburbs Holden
The claims come after the Liberal-held seat
of Corangamite received a funding boost for
an initiative aimed at assisting job seekers with
the closure of car-maker Ford.
Member for Wakefield Nick Champion
last week hit out at the Liberal Government
for pouring an additional $500,000 to post
a local employment co-ordinator to Geelong
in the federal budget, when the program has
been axed in the other 20 areas of high unem-
ployment, including Wakefield.
Mr Champion said Wakefield was facing a
similar crisis with the impending closure of
Holden's Elizabeth plant in 2017.
"We don't begrudge Geelong for getting one
because they've obviously got the same issues
we have but it is pretty outrageous that one
area with high-economic needs, which has
been affected by the car industry's closure, (is
favoured)," he said.
Around 1600 Holden workers will lose
their jobs in South Australia by the time the
Elizabeth plant shuts down in 2017, with
many employees expected to need assistance
in seeking out new work and training in the
next four years.
Local employment co-ordinators were intro-
duced by the Labor Government across 20 ar-
eas of high unemployment within the past five
years, with Geelong appointed as the 21st pri-
ority employment area mid-2013 in response
to the announcement of Ford's closure.
Mr Champion called on the Federal Gov-
ernment to reinstate Wakefield's local em-
ployment co-ordinator following Liberal's
Member for Corangamite Sarah Henderson
announcing her seat would retain its co-
ordinator, with additional funding injected
into the initiative.
"I think there's certainly selective treatment
of one region over another," he said.
Mr Champion said the co-ordinator made a
big difference following the closure of Bridge-
stone in the northern suburbs.
"A local employment co-ordinator was a real
asset and helped to relocate and get many of
those workers re-employed," he said.
South Australian Liberal senator Sean
Edwards hit back at the claims of politi-
cal favouritism, stating the government was
simply honouring Labor's budget commit-
"There was no program beyond June 30 for
any of the other regions," he said.
"All we've done is honoured Labor's budget
commitment to that Geelong program."
The Labor Government cut $800,000 from
the program in 2013/14, with funding for lo-
cal employment co-ordinators scheduled to
run out on June 30 this year.
"They failed to fund this program beyond
this year," Mr Edwards said.
"Nick Champion failed to lobby his gov-
ernment to have this program extended in the
Local employment co-ordinators worked
with employers as well as the commu-
nity to increase employment opportuni-
ties and connect job seekers with work and
-- Natalie Vikhrov
Wakefield misses out on employment help
Leters to the Editor -- page 8
THE Gawler bus service has
been put on the chopping
block, with a number of ser-
vices and routes to be axed.
Member for Light Tony Pic-
colo said the State Government
has decided to cut the num-
ber of "empty and very-low-
patronage services" to improve
the local service and boost pas-
Among them will be the
492W route, an extension of
the 492 route, additionally
travelling along Paterson Ter-
race and around the Gawler
Central shopping complex.
Mr Piccolo could not be
reached for comment or fur-
ther detail on the changes but,
in a press release, said the sav-
ings from the cuts will be rein-
vested and redirected "to meet
He said the transport depart-
ment is currently investigating
options for reducing the time
and cost of some routes in the
The changes come as a re-
sponse to community feedback
over low patronage of the ser-
Last year, the transport de-
partment distributed surveys
to local schools, community
groups and residents through
the Gawler library to find out
what services commuters use
and what would encourage
others to use the buses.
The bus service was intro-
duced in 2011 but has failed
to attract numbers, attracting
wide criticism from the com-
However, some residents
were against cutting low-usage
"That's not fair to the people
who need it," Evanston Park
resident Jo Richard said.
The State Liberal Party also
previously vowed to review the
bus service if it claimed power
in March's election, a commit-
ment Mr Piccolo criticised this
"Had the Liberals won the
election it is very likely we
would have lost our bus ser-
vice," he said.
Mr Piccolo encouraged the
local community to submit
feedback on the bus service.
The 492W route will stop
operating from July 20.
Bus services under knife
" TONY PICCOLO
Had the Liberals
won the election it is very
likely we would have lost
our bus service.
I think the whole
thing should be
If they're not
I'd just be more
inclined to go for
Do you think the Gawler bus
service needs to change,
with some routes cut?
Once the service
is in, keep it in. If
you've got an aged
need a bus service
everyone can get to.
Gawler's 492W route will be cut this month as part of State Government changes to the bus service.
The Gawler bus service was introduced in 2011.
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