IF anyone has the miracle cure, then we want to see it.
We’re talking about jobs, and lots of them – just what Ballarat will require to sustain our rapidly growing population.
And, despite the efforts of both sides of politics this week to convince us, at a state level there is no silver bullet which will stop our job dearth in its track.
Both the state government and the opposition have made pledges to Ballarat in recent days about their commitment to creating employment opportunities in the city. State opposition leader Daniel Andrews was in town talking to local residents about job creation and spending quite a deal of time criticising a lack of action from the government on the same front.
It followed a state budget seemingly light on incentives for jobs growth.
The government was last week spruiking the expansion of the Ballarat Technology Park, with up to 1600 extra people predicted to work there in the future.
While it sounds good on the surface, unless new businesses choose to take up the opportunities which exist at the park, the planning approval provided by the government is next to useless.
Amid what has been difficult times for some of Ballarat’s traditional industries of strength, the mere possibilities created by the tech park expansion proves just how much we are seeking positive news on this front. The considerable investment in western Ballarat, through the Western Link road, is welcome but an assessment of the success of the vision for this area of town would not be fair for at least a decade, or maybe longer.
As we saw with the previous state government and its failed agreement with Vertex Australia in the lead-up to the 2010 state election, nothing is a guarantee in the tough economic climate which our city, and many others, have experienced in recent times.
Both the Committee for Ballarat, and Ballarat City Council, in 2010, launched targets for jobs growth with significant policy statements. A couple of years later and while the message from both organisations remains the same, they will not be happy with the progress.
There is little more pressure which can be applied to state or federal governments to provoke a response; what we require is action. In the past two weeks, governments on all levels have stated the difficulties they face in balancing cuts and maintaining investment. We’d prefer less talk and more action.