Senator wants Newstart increase

DISCUSSION: Vicki Coleman speaks with Senator for South Australia Marielle Smith during her recent visit to Ceduna. Picture: Supplied
DISCUSSION: Vicki Coleman speaks with Senator for South Australia Marielle Smith during her recent visit to Ceduna. Picture: Supplied

Senator for South Australia Marielle Smith believes an increase in Newstart could provide an economic stimulus in towns such as Ceduna.

Ms Smith recently visited the West Coast as well as Murray Bridge and said the Liberal Government was out of touch with regional South Australia.

In rural and regional SA there are 19,633 people on Newstart, including 8911 in the electorate of Grey.

"Instead of stigmatising and demeaning Newstart recipients, the government should be coming up with a plan for our economy," Ms Smith said.

"We have stagnant wages, rising costs and the economy is growing at its slowest pace in a decade.

"An increase to Newstart would not only help people doing it tough, it would provide much needed economic stimulus, especially in regional South Australia."

Ms Smith said during her visit she wanted locals to be heard on state and national issues.

"People living in places like Ceduna and Murray Bridge are crying out for economic stimulus in their towns," she said.

"They are crying out for investment and they are crying out for more jobs.

"An increase to Newstart could help deliver this."

She said boosting Newstart was not just a social policy issue, but also about growing the economy.

Federal shadow minister for Families and Social Services Linda Burney recently launched a petition calling for an increase Newstart, which attracted 11,000 signatures on the first day.

"We are encouraging people to sign the petition and know so much of the benefit in an increase of Newstart will go to regional people," Ms Smith said.