Economy and job security focus for 2017

Gareth ThomasGreat Southern Herald

Jobs and economic growth will be the predominant issues for residents of the Great Southern in 2017, member for O’Connor Rick Wilson says.

With Parliament behind him for 2016, Mr Wilson reflected on the performance of the Turnbull Government and said job security for residents of regional WA was an area the Government would continue to try to improve in 2017.

“For me, the economy is the big-ticket item going forward, as well as job security,” he said.

“We’ll continue to work on providing equal education opportunities.”

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Mr Wilson said while Australia had experienced 25 years of uninterrupted growth, WA was going through a period of slower growth.

“I think the Government needs to focus on making sure the economic settings are right so that we continue to experience that growth and get confidence back into the economy,” he said.

Mr Wilson was more optimistic about the plight of rural economies, but admitted any Statewide downturn did affect the regions in his electorate.

“You might say the region economy in Western Australia has been actually growing quite well,” he said.

“But that insecurity that people are feeling filters its way through to the people across the electorate of O’Connor as well.”

Mr Wilson also flagged regional health services as an area which required further attention.

“Improving health services where possible so people don’t have to travel to the city, that’s a big issue,” he said.

“Albany is getting there.

“We have pretty good facilities but we still have some work to do in the hinterlands.

“You still can’t have a baby at Katanning Hospital and that’s the sort of thing we’ve still got plenty of work to do on.”

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