FORRESTFIELD Labor candidate Stephen Price hosted a jobs forum in High Wycombe last Wednesday with Opposition Leader Mark McGowan.
They spoke about the Opposition’s plan for the economy and jobs in the region if it won office in the March State Election.
“Diversification is the biggest answer to get the state moving,” Mr Price, who will stand against Liberal incumbent Nathan Morton, said. “We need to diversify industry so the state is not reliant on mining.
“People also need security of employment and more jobs for youth.”
The Newburn Road High Wycombe Recreation Centre was full of local residents keen to hear Mr McGowan’s plans for long-term jobs in WA.
“WA has just been through a 10-year boom, the likes of which the rest of the world has never seen, yet this state is facing the biggest deficit it has ever had and unemployment figures are the highest they have ever been at 90,000 people without work,” Mr McGowan said.
“There are a further 150,000 people who are underemployed.”
Mr McGowan said the state needed to grow jobs in industries like hospitality, defence, manufacturing of products, exporting of grain and processing of products for export like in Queensland, Victoria and NSW.
“Education is another area we can grow for employment with five universities in this state and only 6 per cent of the international student body choosing to come to this state for courses,” he said.
“A $60 million manufacturing job that could have been awarded to a West Australian company has just gone to Malaysia. These are missed opportunities for the state and the unemployed here.”
Mr McGowan said a Labor Government would ensure more work remained in WA and was not awarded overseas or to interstate bidders.
He said WA could never catch up if its leadership did not plan ahead.
Mr Price said if the sale of Western Power went ahead, 1000 workers would be made redundant in March 2017.
Both men are opposed to the sale of Western Power and Mr Price and Mr McGowan posed with locals for photos on the Anti-privatisation Truck.