Unemployment in City of Wanneroo and City of Joondalup among worst in Perth

Stock image.
Stock image.

ONE in four Girrawheen residents does not have a job – a number that is among the highest for metropolitan suburbs in the country.

Girrawheen, which is part of the City of Wanneroo, has the equal biggest unemployment rate in Perth at 25.1 per cent, up from 18.2 per cent a year ago, Department of Employment statistics to March showed.

The northwest region of Perth, which comprises the cities of Wanneroo and Joondalup, has the second-biggest unemployment rate in the metropolitan area at 6 per cent, with the southeast region’s 6.6 per cent being the highest.

The local district has the biggest youth (15-24) jobless rate at 15.8 per cent compared with the northeast in second at 11.8 per cent.

It is numbers such as this which will make unemployment a significant talking point in the grab for votes north of Perth in the 2017 state election.

Labor is looking to make it a key issue, with Joondalup candidate Emily Hamilton holding a forum tomorrow night at Beaumaris Community Centre in Ocean Reef, where Labor leader Mark McGowan will outline the Opposition’s jobs plan.

Mr McGowan considered unemployment a “huge issue” in Perth’s northern suburbs.

“The Liberal government should be condemned for failing to make an effort over the past eight years to diversify our economy,” he said.

“They’ve been far too focused on the CBD and have neglected the suburbs where people actually live.

“As a result, unemployment in WA is at record levels and a lot of local families have been impacted.”

He spruiked Labor’s plan as having a focus on local businesses to take a bigger share of state government contracts.

It would also create the Industrial Lands Authority to “slash red tape and drive the development of industry and technology parks to create thousands of new jobs”.

“For example, Meridian Park Industrial Estate in Neerabup is only partially developed,” Mr McGowan said.

“However, fully developed it could see the creation of up to 20,000 new jobs.”

Unemployment remains a greater problem in the City of Wanneroo than the City of Joondalup, but both cities have experienced notable increases in it in the past 12 months.

Wanneroo’s jobless rate increased from 6.1 per cent to 8.7 per cent, while Joondalup’s has risen from 2.7 per cent to 3.9 per cent.

The mining downturn is considered the major factor in the general rise in unemployment across WA.

Training and Workforce Minister Liza Harvey defended the Government’s efforts, saying projects such as Perth Stadium, City Link, Cathedral Square and Elizabeth Quay had created jobs.

“Buffering against the mining construction slowdown are the Government’s major projects, creating more than 45,000 jobs in the metropolitan area alone,” she said.