Member for Geraldton Ian Blayney MLA is calling on the State Government to address regional workforce shortages after the Midwest Chamber of Commerce highlights concerns of local businesses.
Mr Blayney said regional workforce shortages were likely to worsen, creating serious challenges for the businesses reliant on seasonal workers.
“During the current peak holiday period there is an influx of people in Geraldton which puts pressure on those places that have traditionally relied on seasonal workers/backpackers to fulfil the demand.
“But as the backpackers aren’t coming into the State because of the hard border, these positions aren’t being filled, and some operators have simply shut their doors because they can’t cope with the lack of staff.
“This needs attention from this Government,” he said.
Despite more than 100,000 West Australians losing employment as a result of COVID-19, Mr Blayney said little was being done to incentivise them to work regionally.
“Decentralisation, incentives for business, and greater investment from government can contribute to the great lifestyle in the regions and boost regional WA economies,” Mr Blayney said.
“Geraldton is a great place to live, work and raise a family, but there needs to be more incentives for people to start applying for regionally based positions, so that Geraldton continues to prosper after covid.