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‘Hypocrisy’ charge over job losses

Saturday, 10th March, 2012

Local MP John Williams has been accused of failing Broken Hill after it was revealed that the local office of small business is to close.

But Mr Williams said a $5million Small Biz Direct Program will be more effective than the current model for small businesses.

It is understood two people are employed at the office in the State Office Block. It is one of four NSW Department of Trade and Investment Small Business and Regional Development Offices facing closure.

Shadow Special Minister of State, Steve Whan, said Mr Williams had failed to save local jobs.

“Before the election last year, John Williams argued that communities in his electorate could not be serviced by offices in Dubbo and Orange,” Mr Whan said.

“Now, when he gets the chance to keep local jobs and services in his community as a member of the NSW Government, he gives up without even trying to fight.

“In the Broken Hill case, the Government is telling us that small business will now be provided from Dubbo or Orange.

“This is totally hypocritical. You can’t argue that there are not enough services in Broken Hill and surrounding areas in Opposition and then take them away as soon as you get elected to govern the State.”

The other country offices to close are in Tweed Heads, Coffs Harbour and Goulburn.

“Today’s announcement will result in 69 job losses across the Department of Trade and Investment,” Mr Whan said.

“These workers from the Broken Hill office contribute to the local community and economy and they have been sent packing.”

Mr Williams said the Small Business Commissioner felt the current support model wasn’t working.

“We will be contracting out the services of these small business advisory bodies and they will be measured on outcomes,” he said.

“While I regret the loss of jobs, we’ve been assured what will replace the current situation will better enhance the needs of small businesses.” 

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