Over the next few weeks The Courier will take an in-depth look at the biggest issues facing our region and ask our local candidates what their policies are in each specific area.
Today we start the project with a look at employment. The Courier has specifically asked each party to provide new projects to be delivered in 2015 and beyond.
We also asked for a short response from each candidate on why their policies are the best.
1. A Jobs Plan inc. Premier's Jobs and Investment Panel - $500 million.
2. Regional Jobs Fund - $200 million.
3. Back To Work Fund - $100 million.
4. Eight local school/community projects - $55.5 million.
5. Return of community service obligation to TAFE and $32 million for LLEN.
1. Relocation of 600 VicRoads jobs to Ballarat.
2. Ballarat West Employment Zone.
3. Securing more than 400 jobs through a co-investment with Mars.
4. Skilling Victorians with support for 60,000 apprenticeships through major infrastructure projects
5. Reducing red tape and direct costs on business by more than $1 billion by cutting WorkCover premiums and Payroll Tax.
1. Australia's Energy Entirely from Renewables.
2. Investment certainty for wind and rooftop solar.
3. Ballarat West Employment Zone: 9200 jobs in logistics, freight (rail & truck), food and services.
4. Make Ballarat Central -revitalise Ballarat CBD/boost inner city population.
5. Public TAFE Reinvestment -skills of future.
1. VicRoads - 600 jobs moved to Ballarat.
2. Victorian Jobs in the 21st Century which will create new apprenticeships and new jobs in Ballarat.
3. Ballarat West Employment Zone ($25.2m) and link to Western Fwy ($38m) - 9000 jobs.
4. Golden Plains Food Production Precinct - 770 jobs - $2.9m (stage 1, water supply).
5. Reduce red tape including by cutting the average Victorian WorkCover premium by 5 per cent.
SCOTT TURNER - National - Ripon
As the only party in state Parliament that solely represents country Victoria, The Nationals have practical policies that put local communities, small businesses and jobs first. Like the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund that backs local skills and businesses through investing in expanding industry to create more local jobs.
DANIEL MCGLONE - Labor - Ripon
While unemployment has reached critical levels, the Napthine Government has scaled back or scrapped the supports people need to find work. Labor will change this. We have committed to fund the Local Learning Employment Networks for the next four years and reinvigorating TAFE providing the skills people need to be employed.
LOUSIE STALEY - Liberal - Ripon
As a part of Denis Napthine's team I am focussed on job opportunities in western Victoria and training young people in our region with the skills necessary to secure good jobs. That's why I am supporting Skilling Victorians which will help support 60,000 apprenticeships, including on major infrastructure projects.
ROD MAY - Greens - Ripon
If built to meet high design standards for a very different employment world over the next 50 years Ballarat West Employment Zone (BWEZ) is a winner. Power and heat provided by bio-energy from municipal and plantation waste; water capture and reuse; rail and truck freight hub; intensive horticulture; food distribution.
UNEMPLOYMENT and jobs have quickly become one of the hottest issues in the lead up to November's election.
With manufacturing continuing its downward trend and both sides of politics continuing to provide both good and bad job figures, residents have been left wondering what is the best way forward for the region.
While the Ballarat West Employment Zone is still one of the most talked about projects in the region and is seen as being one possible solution, the first stages have been funded in the most recent budgets meaning it should be delivered by whoever wins the election.
Both major parties have released job plans which both claim to act as an attack on unemployment and were unveiled with much fanfare.
However, major infrastructure projects are still listed across the board as a solution to creating jobs in the state.
While the Liberal Party has listed the VicRoads relocation as a key employment policy, it is important to remember the majority of these 600 jobs will not be new places to be filled by Ballarat residents and instead employees will be relocated from Melbourne.
Skills and training have also been on agenda following major cuts made by the federal government earlier this year.
Both major parties have been forced to pick up the tab to various levels, however, there are still gaps to be filled.
While The Courier understands major announcements may still be announced in coming weeks it seems that more work needs to be done to tackle this growing issue.