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.
SONIA SMITH - Nationals - Buninyong
We'll protect workplace rights, boost skills training and create new apprenticeships and quality jobs. We'll cut red tape to help businesses start, grow and employ more people. I'll double the amount Ballarat gets under the $1 billion RGF to drive new investment in food, clean-and-green industries, and community infrastructure Employing Locals First.
GEOFF HOWARD - Labor -Buninyong
Denis Napthine and Tony Abbott have abandoned manufacturing, sacrificing local jobs and sending them offshore. The Liberal's massive cuts to TAFE, regional universities and employment pathway programs leave young people with nowhere to turn. Only Labor has a plan to support regional jobs and get people back to work.
BEN TAYLOR - Liberal - Buninyong
Buninyong employers need improved infrastructure like the EastWest Link to improve productivity and to get goods to market quicker. By improving road infrastructure we can compete for more employers to relocate to our region which means more local jobs for local people.
TONY GOODFELLOW - Greens - Buninyong
With wind farms valued at $1.8b already approved in Ballarat district, but not yet started due to uncertainty on the future of the Commonwealth RET, the Greens will give businesses confidence to proceed by establishing a Victorian RET. Same for roof top solar. -Meaning jobs for small businesses across Victoria.
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.