03/08/2004 - 22:00

Jobs claim doesn’t stack up

03/08/2004 - 22:00

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Jobs claim doesn’t stack up

The Federal Government has claimed its $15 million assistance program for Western Australia’s timber industry will create 900 new jobs.

This is clearly wrong, with the true figure likely to be a small fraction of that.

Most of the claimed jobs (510) have been attributed to one possible project.

Private company Lignor has been given $1.36 million so that it can proceed with a feasibility study for an engineered lumber plant near Albany.

By definition there is no certainty the project will proceed, but assuming it does, its proponents are only claiming 143 full-time employees.

To reach 510 jobs, you need to add 61 people in harvesting and transport then apply a ‘multiplier’ of 2.5 to the sub total.

The Federal Government also claimed its assistance program would create 235 jobs in forest contracting.

However most of these jobs (168) are actually training places, not permanent jobs.

More fundamentally, jobs to be created in forest contracting are a result of the private sector’s investment in plantations and will occur anyway. They are not a result of Government handouts, which simply provide a commercial boost to some of the forest contractors.

The third area where extra jobs are predicted is in furniture manufacturing.

Australian Craftwood and Timber, Jensen Jarrah and Inglewood Forest Products are among several furniture makers that expect to employ extra staff as a result of winning Government assistance.

Even in this category, the Government has counted at least 24 training places as permanent jobs.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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