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Public transport, services and retraining to support crash postcodes

The Australian Greens say a new job vulnerability index placing 15% of suburbs on red alert for job cuts, highlights the need to improve public transport and provide affordable housing.

According to the index launched by the Centre of Full Employment and Equity at Newcastle University this morning, 15.2 % of Australian suburbs have high concentrations of jobs most likely to be at risk due to the global economic crisis.

"The report most obviously identifies the need for support, retraining and education initiatives, but the maps show a striking correlation with public transport gaps and job vulnerability," said the Australian Greens Public Transport Spokesperson, Senator Scott Ludlam.

"We risk entrenching suburbs strangled by rising levels of unemployment, isolated from education and training services and public transport. If the Government is serious about economic stimulus, look to the geographic concentrations of unemployment and concentrate urban infrastructure spending there."

"The impact of the global economic crisis is being felt in car-dependent outer metro suburbs much more than wealthy inner city areas. It's these suburbs that the government should focus on first when it finally begins making a contribution to public transport, as well as looking to ensure that affordable housing is scattered throughout cities rather than stranded on the urban fringe."

Last year, Senator Ludlam initiated the first ever Senate Inquiry into public transport in Australia. The Inquiry is holding hearings across the country and will be convening in Canberra on Thursday and Friday.

More information on the Inquiry is available online at: http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/rrat_ctte/public_transport/index.htm.

Media contact: Robert Simms - 0417 174 302

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