Four local Target stores are among those set for the chop or change in the company’s new restructure.
The retailer has announced the closure or downsizing of dozens of stores across the state and unemployment hitting 6% across New South Wales, NSW Labor is calling for the Liberal and National State Government to outline a jobs plan for regional communities, women and young people – all of whom rely on the employment opportunities provided by major retailers.
Four local stores to close or change to K-Mart
The Ocean Shores store will be converted to a K-Mart outlet while the Casino, Goonellabah and Murwillumbah stores will close entirely. At this stage, the Ballina store will remain open.
Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin said she is very disappointed. ‘Two of the Target shops closing are in my Lismore Electorate – Goonellabah and Murwillumbah. I feel for the staff who must be very worried and I am deeply concerned for young people, many of whom work in these stores.’
Labor’s Jobs spokesperson and Deputy Leader, Yasmin Catley MP said that Nationals leader John Barilaro MP wants jobs in the regional areas, but they are evaporating before our eyes.
‘The COVID-19 crisis has hit workers in every sector, so the loss of Target stores in many communities will be another huge blow to families and communities who depend on those jobs.
Regional communities already suffering
Ms Catley says that with regional communities already suffering from the impacts of a devastating bushfire season, this latest announcement will make a bad situation worse in many town centres like Casino, Armidale, Cooma, Nowra and Scone.
‘The Government must implement a reskilling and reemployment plan for every worker who has been displaced during the past six months of rolling disasters. We need people back in our TAFEs learning new skills and getting back to work,’ she said.
Ms Catley also called upon the State Government to sit down with Wesfarmers, which owns Target, Kmart, Officeworks and Bunnings to discuss options for those Target workers who would be displaced by the planned Target closures.
‘The Berejiklian-Barilaro Government must sit down with Target’s owner, Wesfarmers, and seek a jobs guarantee for those workers at stores being converted to Kmart. Then, workers in stores that will be closed altogether should be offered a job elsewhere in the conglomerate, such as at Bunnings or Officeworks’.