30,000 Tweed region jobs lost
Update, February 3:
National MP for Tweed Geoff Provest has denied his government is to blame for the latest unemployment figures across the Tweed-Richmond electorates.
He said employment figures Mr Goodman attributed to the Nationals, were "evenly split between the previous Labor Government in Canberra and the current Coalition Government".
"It is certainly not correct to attribute these employment figures to the Nationals in the NSW Government," Mr Provest said.
"The only direct influence the State Government has on local employment is by the number of public officials it hires.
"Under the current NSW Government, the Tweed has more teachers, more police officers and more nurses."
He said state governance influences employment "indirectly" through policies, but it was the Commonwealth Government which had "the most influence on economic activity".
"Under Labor, NSW had been ranked as the worst-performing of all the mainland States and I have seen no evidence that the ALP has learned the error of its ways," Mr Provest said.
He said most regional jobs are created by small businesses and residents should shop "on this side of the border" to boost the local economy.
Initial report, published on January 31:
THE number of people with a job in the Tweed-Richmond region has fallen by 30,000 since 2011, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show.
In March 2011, there were 115,800 people employed across the region. This fell to 85,200 in November 2014.
In the last 12 months the number of jobless rose to 19,000 people.
Tweed Labor candidate Ron Goodman blamed the Coalition.
"The Tweed Richmond area has fallen by more than 30,000 since coalition took office," he said.
"These figures show the real human cost of the National Party's mismanagement across the North Coast."
He said policies which cut TAFE funding caused unemployment, and he promised if elected in March, Labor would restore the money.
"Only Labor has a plan to invest in job creation, including restoring accessibility to TAFE so local people can get the skills they need to get a job," Mr Goodman said.
Local Teachers Federation spokesperson Kathy Nicholson said the policy had withdrawn guaranteed funding from TAFE, and opened it to any other education provider.
She denied this increased competitiveness in the education sector, which would benefit consumers, and said instead it enabled poor quality and cheap institutions outbid TAFE.
She said the institutions did not always provide on-campus studies, and there was no fees help for qualifications from Certificate 4 and below.
"Certainly these policies implemented by the Nationals are a barrier to education of all students," she said.
State Teachers Federation Terry Keeley said the association was backing Labor's policy.
"Labor have committed to freeze all contestable funding to 30% and guarantee that 70% of will for to the public TAFE public education," Mr Keely said.
He said the NSW Liberal party, while in power, had cut 1200 TAFE teacher jobs.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest was asked by the Tweed Daily News about his plan to address unemployment in the Tweed and if TAFE funding cuts were to blame, but he did not respond before deadline.