Federal Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters MP today has condemned Malcolm Turnbull and his Liberal Government for failing to create genuine job opportunities for Bendigo and Central Victorians job seekers.


The latest Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey reveals that although Australians are becoming increasingly educated, issues of stagnant wages growth and underemployment are impacting household finances.

According to the report, underemployment – that is people wanting to work more hours, but unable to find work – has largely increased over the past 40 years from a low 2.6 per cent in 1978 to a high 8.7 per cent in February 2017.


“The data backs up what I hear from people in the electorate every week.


“Too many older job seekers, parents, carers and younger Central Victorians are struggling to get back into paid work after becoming unemployed or taking time out of the workforce for study or caring responsibilities.


“I've met with lots of local job seekers with fantastic resumes and yet they can't find any work in their field.


“Here in Castlemaine this is quite often the case. Despite having university degrees, TAFE qualifications and years of experience, Castlemaine locals like many across Central Victoria are struggling to find work in their field.


“Today’s new normal is that workers are more likely to be underemployed in casual/part time insecure work.

Malcolm Turnbull and his Liberal Government is failing to create secure full time jobs for Central Victorians and forcing them to participate in failing jobs programs,” Ms Chesters said.


The Liberal Government continues to blame job seekers instead of looking at their own record on unemployment and failing jobs programs. An example of a failing program is the Government's Work for the Dole as it doesn’t get people into work. Almost 90 per cent of participants still don’t have a full time job three months after going through Work for the Dole.


“The Turnbull Government’s jobseeker programs aren’t doing enough to help Australians get into work.


“Under Malcolm Turnbull and his Liberals many working Australians haven’t had a pay-rise for years, are confronted with insecure work and are struggling to keep up with sky-rocketing living costs,” Ms Chesters said.