The Australian TALKING POINTS: Jobs Australia CEO Published in the Australian

The grievous and unacceptably high frequency of suicide among young Aboriginal youth is a national tragedy . While there is a complex array of issues driving this calamity, it is no surprise to hear that up to half of the suicides are related at least in part to “poor job prospects” (“ No-job pain drives suicide surge” , 16/7). There is ample research on the benefits of meaningful work, with some data indicating that working even one day a week can achieve a reduction in mental health concerns by 30 per cent. 

Jobs Australia, the peak body for the not-for-profit employment service sector, has long called for additional employment opportunities to be made available in remote areas. While we wait on the government’s commitment of 1000 new jobs, we should not forget the then responsible minister, Nigel Scullion, sought to create 6000 jobs in remote Australia, which was rejected when appended to the Community Development Program legislation. 

There is an urgent need to remove the politics from this issue. 

Debra Cerasa, Chief Executive, Jobs Australia