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February 1, 2023

Patrick Deegan says Northern Rivers let down by budget

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Patrick Deegan, Labor candidate for Page.

Labor candidate for Page, Patrick Deegan, says Northern Rivers employers and their workers have again been let down by the Morrison-Joyce Government after the federal budget failed to deliver to a JobSeeker support package for local businesses.

He says the unprecedented back-to-back-flood crisis has affected business across Northern NSW, with floods decimating the Lismore CBD and the industrial areas of South and North Lismore – taking out the region’s primary business district and its ‘economic engine’.

‘In fact, right across the region businesses have been wiped out – in towns like Kyogle, Coraki, Woodburn, Broadwater and Wardell. Many businesses will be unable to trade for months, and many of those may not be able to survive,’ said Mr Deegan.

JobKeeper needed?

‘Without a JobKeeper-style support package, the Northern Rivers faces an economic tsunami on top of the devasting flood crisis. The shortage of jobs, and the shortage of housing, will force many people to move out of the region,’ said Mr Deegan.

Flooding in Lismore CBD, 30 March 2022. Photo David Lowe.

‘Unions, businesses, and local mayors have joined my call for a Federally-funded wage subsidy for disaster-affected areas. On Wednesday 23 March the National Party Member for Page Kevin Hogan also said he supported the proposal.

‘Mr Hogan said he had already been lobbying on the issue for “quite some time”, and he was “going to work hard to make this happen.”

‘The Federal Budget however did not contain any mention of a wage subsidy for businesses impacted by the catastrophic floods.’ said Mr Deegan, who pointed out that references to business support were extremely vague, and Mr Hogan has not provided any detail about what will be available.

‘Mr Hogan is the Assistant Minister to Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, and yet he can’t deliver for the people he is meant to represent,’ said Mr Deegan.

‘Our communities need action, not empty words. The government’s failure to deliver a JobKeeper package will increase the likelihood that workers will become disconnected from their employers, businesses will struggle to reopen, and jobs will be lost, never to return,’ he said.

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  1. It has become clear that Kevin has no influence whatsoever in the government of which he is an member.
    Good for a bit of pork barreling and a photo op but that is all.
    Time to replace him.
    As well, a vote for Kevin is a vote for more of Morrison.

  2. Labor wants the return of the two-tiered welfare system, with different levels of income support depending on when one lost one’s job, such is their contempt for unemployed people.

    All people on jobseeker and youth allowance should not vote for Labor, who wants them left behind

    • Yep better to vote for the party of robodebt. I can imagine their cockiness if they win again. With their crowing about the unemployment rate we might be lucky to see any unemployment benefit at all. Cancelled after 12 months?

      Please explain the two-tiered system, I’m unfamiliar with it.


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