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Help Perth’s 30 high-risk suburbs: Greens

A new study identifying Perth suburbs most exposed to unemployment underscores the need for Government to create green new jobs in building public transport infrastructure, the Australian Greens say.

“Thirty suburbs, mostly in middle to outer Perth, have been identified by the University of Newcastle study as at high risk of major job loss in the recession,” Senator for WA Scott Ludlam said.

“These the areas where a high number of people rely on work in industries such as manufacturing, construction, retail and hospitality.

“What is most alarming is that these ‘crash suburbs’ bear a striking correlation with those identified in previous studies as at high risk from mortgage stress and fuel price hikes.

“The study results show that many of the people living in these areas are those tagged ‘working families’ by the Rudd Government.

“Take the southern suburb of Leda, as typical: the average age is 29, nearly half the people living there don’t have post-secondary qualifications and most of their jobs are in manufacturing, construction and retail trade.

“The average Leda household of three people gets by on a weekly income of just over $1000 and a quarter of that goes on the mortgage. If petrol goes up in price again – which unfortunately is inevitable at some point – it’s going to be really hard on these people.

“At the moment, we risk entrenching these suburbs in a stranglehold of rising unemployment, isolation from education and training services and public transport.

“If the Government is serious about economic stimulus, it must look at the geographic concentrations of unemployment and concentrate its urban infrastructure spending there.

“By building public transport links to these suburbs, the Government will both create construction work and insulate these areas from future economic shock.

“Last year, I initiated the first ever Senate Inquiry into public transport in Australia. The inquiry is holding a hearing in Perth this Monday, 23 March. More information about the inquiry is available at: http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/rrat_ctte/public_transport/index.”

For more information or media enquiries please call Eloise Dortch on 0415 507 763

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