Pages tagged "Media release"

Labor denies and now admits recession

Today in Parliament Question Time, Labor Treasurer Tim Pallas admitted that “if we are not in recession yet, we will be.”

Yesterday’s National Accounts figures revealed that the Andrews Government has driven Victoria into recession, after two consecutive quarters of negative growth between October 2019 and March 2020, that’s pre-COVID - the only state in the nation with this dubious honour.

Victoria is the only state in the country to sink into recession, proving Victoria’s economy was on the slide well before the financial fallout from COVID-19 and the bushfires.

There are times you want your state to be number one, being the first state to get into recession is not one of those times.

Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:

“The Treasurer must call it for what it is, and admit that Victoria was already in recession at the end of March.

“If Tim Pallas doesn't understand that we are in recession he should go and speak to 127,000 Victorians who lost their jobs last month.”

Media Contact:        Simon Watson         0484 000 051

Victoria’s economy sinks into recession

Victoria is the only state in the country to sink into recession, proving Daniel Andrews lost control of the budget well before the financial fallout from COVID-19 and the bushfires.

Today’s National Accounts figures show Victoria’s economy shrinking by 0.1 per cent in the March quarter.

With two consecutive negative quarters, the Victorian economy is now officially in recession for the first time since September 2008.

Poor and reckless financial management by the Andrews Labor Government meant Victoria’s State budget was in deficit by $1.1 billion, government debt had ballooned to over $40 billion in 19/20, and the economy had shrunk by the end of last year.

Victoria is the only state in Australia which has currently recorded two consecutive negative quarters.

Comments attributable to the Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:

“While Australia is heading into a recession, Victoria is already there.

“Victoria is in recession today because Daniel Andrews had wrecked the economy well before COVID.

“Recessions hurt working families the most as unemployment rises. Around 127,000 Victorians lost their jobs in April and there is worse to come.”

Media Contact:        Simon Watson         0484 000 051

More jobs gone for Victorians

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ labour force release shows 132,200 fewer Victorians were employed from March to April as the COVID-19 lockdown wreaked havoc on Victorian jobs.

More than 117,000 of Victorians losing employment were reported within greater Melbourne, with the Melbourne’s South-East (down 25,300), North-East (down 22,600) and West (down 17,300) experiencing the largest share of these losses.

The labour force has shrunk in both greater Melbourne and country Victoria. Every region except a minor increase on the South West Coast has seen its labour force shrink.

Of particular concern, 6,100 people in the Latrobe Gippsland region left the workforce as the double whammy of COVID-19 and bushfires destroy its economy.

About 4,000 left the workforce in Shepparton and 5,800 did so in Ballarat. Melbourne is doing worse still with every part of Melbourne suffering job losses and overall experiencing more employment pain relative to the size of its workforce than the country areas.

Women and young people have been particularly hard hit. Across Victoria, 55 per cent of employment loss was borne by women. In Greater Melbourne, 52 per cent of employment loss were women, while in regional Victoria, 78 per cent of employment loss were women. That’s a disturbing 11,700 jobs lost by women in regional Victoria out of the total 15,000 lost.

Today’s data is more evidence that Daniel Andrews’s extended lockdowns are hurting Victorians.

Yesterday, the ANZ Stateometer, showed Victoria had performed worst on the report’s underemployment rate, which has increased the most of any state or territory. In April, the number of Victorians wanting a job or more work jumped to 14.1 per cent from 8.5 per cent in March.

The Andrews Government strict lockdowns which have been the heaviest in the country, has exacerbated job losses across Victoria and must be reviewed immediately.

Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:

“Day-after-day, the evidence mounts that Daniel Andrews’ extended lockdowns are causing worse job losses in Victoria than elsewhere. Today’s ABS data paints a particularly grim picture for women who have borne the brunt of the job losses.

“Victorian households and businesses urgently need a government with a plan to address our economic emergency so we can get Victorians back to work rather than swelling the unemployment queue.”

Media Contact:        Simon Watson         0484 000 051

Quarterly report paints Victoria’s grim economic picture

Tonight’s release of the latest ANZ Stateometer report shows Victorians are experiencing some of the worst economic effects in the country following the state’s toughest COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

The report is not good news for homeowners or residential mum-and-dad investors with the state’s reliance on international tourism having weakened the housing market more than other states. Housing prices started falling in April. Rental listings have increased sharply with inner Melbourne rentals up 36 per cent.

The report warns that slowing demand for housing will continue to flow through to housing construction, which was already declining at the start of the crisis.

Victoria also comes out worst on the report’s underemployment rate which has increased the most of any state or territory. In April, the number of Victorians wanting a job or more work jumped to 14.1 per cent from 8.5 per cent in March.

The Andrews Government strict lockdowns which have been the heaviest in the country has also hit local businesses. The report found Victoria’s retail spending growth up just two per cent, the lowest in the country.

The State Government’s March Quarterly Report released last week showed that through poor and reckless financial management the Victorian Government’s capacity to respond to the economic impacts of lockdown restrictions has been significantly impacted by a budget in deficit and record government debt before COVID-19. Australian Bureau of Statistic’s Labour force number released last week showed 127,100 Victorians lost their jobs in April.

The Liberal Nationals released a plan to get Victoria back to work and back in business last week. The plan is a roadmap for the state’s economic recovery. While Daniel Andrews remains dogged in his approach to the state’s lockdown, he has no plan to address the economic devastation caused by COVID-19.

Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:

“Victoria has always been the economic powerhouse of the country and to come in well behind New South Wales and the national average on this economic report card shows just how much of an impact Daniel Andrews’s strict lockdowns have had.

“Day-after-day, Daniel Andrews’s lack of a jobs plan is becoming clearer. Last week it was the tragedy of 127,100 Victorians losing their jobs, today it’s more proof we are lagging behind other states and have the biggest increase in people looking for work or needing more hours of work. 

“Victorian households and businesses urgently need a government with a plan to address our economic emergency so we can get Victorians back to work rather than swelling the unemployment queue.”

Media contact:   Mitch Grayson   0427 03 670  

Education Minister confirms Labor’s “big borrow” to be spent on 2018 election commitments

Labor’s Education Minister, James Merlino, has today at a Parliamentary Committee hearing admitted that Labor will be using some of the $24.5 billion of “pandemic” borrowings to fund school building election commitments from 2018.

The admission that Labor’s “big borrow” will be spent funding election commitments from 2018 shows that Labor had run out of money.

Labor is now using the coronavirus pandemic as cover for its economic incompetence.

This is just the latest admission by Labor that the real reason it needs to borrow over $24 billion is that Daniel Andrews and his Treasurer can’t manage money and can’t balance the budget.


Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:

“Having butchered the budget before COVID-19 and the bushfires, now Daniel Andrews and his team admit they are borrowing to fund 2018 election promises.

“The Liberal Nationals have called for transparency on how these borrowings are spent to ensure Labor doesn’t just use it to fill its budget black holes.”

Miners Rest Primary School upgrade finally funded

The news that the long-called-for upgrade of Miners Rest Primary School is now funded is a great win for the community who have fought for this outcome for many years.

However, Ms Staley said the circumstances under which the funding has finally been forthcoming are disappointing.

“I am happy to finally see the badly-needed upgrade at Miners Rest Primary School has received the funding it needed. It was a fully-funded election promise of mine at the last state election. However, the manner in which it has been funded and the timing leaves a lot to be desired,” Ms Staley said.

“On 18 March of this year I asked the Education Minister, James Merlino, in Parliament about this funding and he confirmed that the upgrade had not been funded. Yet today, in a Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) hearing, he has announced it is now funded.”

Under questioning, Minister Merlino admitted that the funding for the upgrade at Miners Rest, along with other school upgrades across the state would come out of the $24.5 billion the State Government will borrow in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“This is a prime example of the Andrews Government and its economic management. Having already put the budget in deficit before the COVID-19 outbreak, now they are using the unprecedented borrowing in response to that outbreak to fund their election promises,” Ms Staley said.

“It is pleasing to see this vital project finally funded. However, it should have already been funded in the last budget, work should have already commenced, and been nearing completion. That the students, parents and teachers of Miners Rest Primary School have had to wait until this health and economic crisis to get this project funding is less than satisfactory.”

Latest economic data grim for Victoria

The latest Victorian budget update paints a grim picture of Victoria's finances.

Labor Treasurer Tim Pallas began delivering deficits in September last year but only now has admitted he has given up on chasing surpluses.

Victoria's budget was in deficit well before this year's bushfire and coronavirus pandemic with only two of the 13 weeks reported in this update being related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The third-quarter net result of a $773 million deficit is the worst in years.

This result is $2.3 billion worse than last year despite taxation revenue being up $262 million for the year to date.

Expenses in the budget are up $3.97 billion to March 31 and employee expenses are up 8.8 per cent for the quarter year-on-year despite Tim Pallas saying in January that employee expenses for the full year would be up 2.5 per cent.

Victoria's unemployment rate has also risen from 5.2 per cent in March to 6.0 per cent in April and 127,100 Victorians lost their jobs in April

Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:

"Victoria's budget was in a terrible state before the pandemic hit and now Labor wants to borrow over $24 billion to paper over their economic mismanagement. 

"Daniel Andrews can't hide behind the coronavirus to cover up the parlous state he has allowed the state's budget to collapse into.

"Victoria needs a jobs-led and business-led recovery from this pandemic, not more of Labor's high debt, high taxes and reckless spending."

Media Contact:        Simon Watson         0484 000 051  

Liberal Party proposes $1 billion fund to bring manufacturing home to Victoria

The Liberal Party is today proposing a $1 billion Bringing Manufacturing Home Fund to encourage businesses to bring facilities and jobs back to Victoria.

Over the past 20 years, more than 50,000 Victorian manufacturing jobs have been lost. A COVID-19 response is urgently needed to create jobs and boost the economy.

With COVID-19 restrictions easing, now is the time for the Andrews Government to urgently act to get Victorians back to work and back in business.

“Victoria has a real opportunity to create thousands of new jobs, attract millions-of-dollars of investment while regenerating our capability to produce critical supplies that we’ve otherwise lost to overseas – and communities like those in Ripon would benefit from this,” said the Member for Ripon, Louise Staley.

“Rebuilding local economies is a vital piece of Victoria’s recovery, and a boost to manufacturing in a region like ours could be a real boost for local jobs. Victorians now need a government focused on delivering a jobs-led and business-led recovery.”

This pandemic has exposed holes in the national supply chain with an overreliance on too few countries to provide essential supplies such as personal protective equipment (PPE).

The Bringing Manufacturing Home Fund would prioritise support for industries of national importance such as PPE manufacture, defence procurement and rare earths processing.

The proposed Fund would provide support for businesses seeking to relocate manufacturing facilities and jobs back to Victoria. It would also support existing Victorian manufacturers to expand, as well as supporting innovation, research and development.

“With Victoria losing more jobs than any other state due to the pandemic, we need an urgent and bold plan to turn this around,” said Ms Staley.

“We need to back local businesses to deliver the jobs and investment that Victoria so desperately needs.”

The Bringing Manufacturing Home Fund adds to a number of polices announced by the Liberal Party to get Victoria back to work and back in business after the economic fallout of COVID-19.

Maryborough Hospital not a funding priority for Labor

It has been almost two years since Labor Premier Daniel Andrews made an election promise that he would provide $100 million to rebuild Maryborough Hospital in this term of government.

Almost two years since Premier Daniel Andrews claimed his government cared about regional Victoria, that they understood the priorities of rural and regional health and that they were delivering for regional Victorians.

Almost two years and what do we see? Nothing. In the middle of the biggest health crisis our State has seen for a century, there is no money for Maryborough Hospital.

Ripon MP Louise Staley has repeatedly called on the Premier and Minister for Health, Hon. Jenny Mikakos MP to explain why the much-needed Maryborough Hospital redevelopment hasn’t been funded and hasn’t commenced.

On 27th May last year, Minister Mikakos claimed that the $100 million redevelopment of Maryborough Hospital is on track.

In February this year, Ms Staley raised funding for Maryborough Hospital again in the Parliament. Ms Staley asked the Minister for Health to ensure that the full $100 million promised by Labor for a new Maryborough hospital will be allocated in the upcoming Budget.

In Parliament, Ms Staley said, “in last year’s budget the hospital was not funded, and so it must be funded in this year’s budget in full if the government is to fulfil its promise to deliver the $100 million hospital to the people of Maryborough in this term of government.”

“Last week I finally received a response from the Minister, a response that simply said that planning had been done, but did not commit to constructing the hospital,” Ms Staley said.

“Yet again the Minister is refusing to promise that the hospital will be funded. Hospitals are not built overnight, and unless construction money is made available, this project will not be finished by the next election and the Premier’s promise will be broken,” Ms Staley said.

Hunting Licence Extension good news for Ripon Hunters

Last week’s news that Victoria’s 50,000-plus recreational game hunters will be compensated for lost hunting opportunities with an extension to current game licences by one year has been welcomed by the Member for Ripon, Louise Staley.

Under the State Government’s mandatory social distancing measures, game hunting has been banned. The game hunting seasons for hog and sambar deer, stubble quail and gamebirds have already been impacted and the upcoming duck hunting season will only be allowed on the property that you live on.

Ms Staley was pleased that the expiry date of all current game licences administered by the Game Management Authority will be extended by 12 months, allowing hunters to get the full value of their licence fee.

“Ripon has many local hunters, and this announcement will ensure those hunters can resume their sport when it is safe to do so,” Ms Staley said.

“Disappointingly though this decision has taken far too long to come. I have received many emails and calls from frustrated hunters across Ripon wanting to know what is happening with the season, their licences and whether they can legally hunt,”

“Game hunting is a sport that many people in Ripon participate in and enjoy every year. I know this year has been challenging and frustrating for many people,”

“I remind all hunters that Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has advised that to help slow the spread of coronavirus, people must not leave their property to go hunting.”