Is the Rudd Government’s economic stimulus package working?

Yes, says Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin, and her comments are backed by one local Chamber of Commerce spokesman.

Ms Saffin says retailers around the Page electorate are reporting that the Government’s Economic Security Strategy payments have proved to be a big plus for the local economy.

The Government provided lump sum payments of at least $1000 to more than 50,000 families and pensioners in December, pouring more than $50 million into the region.

“It’s clear that many people are spending their money locally, and it’s having the desired effect with retailers from the coast to the country areas reporting good figures for the holiday season, particularly for whitegoods, cameras and clothing,” Ms Saffin said.

“The extra money and good weather have also helped local tourism operators, with visitor numbers up in coastal towns from Ballina to Yamba.

“This is particularly good news after last year’s heavy rains and flooding hurt local tourism operators. 

“As part of flood recovery funding, the Federal and State governments put $600,000 into tourism promotion for our area and it appears to have been effective.

“It’s great to see the local economy start the year on such a positive note.”

Ballina Chamber of Commerce Chairman, Glenn Costello, says the combination of the Rudd money, the good weather, and the boost to the local economy from the influx of workers on the Ballina bypass project, are having a very positive effect on local business.