Jobs talk takes a back seat during PM’s visit | story and photos

LOCAL job creation was something many people wanted the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to talk about during his recent visit but the topic was not aired publicly.

The PM visited booming South Nowra based business NowChem on Friday and the company’s managing director, John Lamont, was surprised employment was not one of Mr Turnbull’s main talking points with the accompanying media scrum.

"We were surprised he did not take the chance to re-announce today that there was an election promise for $20 million coming to the two south coast electorates to help build jobs and to build more industry,” he said.

“Being in the local area we really thought he would take the opportunity to re-announce that $20 million package because that is a real positive thing for the Gilmore electorate.

"Most importantly businesses will only get it (access to the funds) if they get on board and that information will be out through the Shoalhaven Business Chamber.”

He added business was in good shape in the Shoalhaven at the moment but work was still needed.

"There is no such thing as luck I don't think - you get out there and make the opportunities and you create your own luck and build your business on that,” he said

Mr Lamont, though surprised employment was not discussed with the media, was happy to host the PM on Friday.

"It has been a great honour for business to have the Prime Minister here in Nowra and then actually here at NowChem and were able to showcase our business at a higher level and show the Prime Minister exactly where we are creating jobs in the region,” he said

He said at his firm jobs were being created in the export market and free trade agreements were important to NowChem.

“We are creating jobs at all levels and more uni graduates work here than ever before and we also need a lot of process type jobs - we have a huge diverse range of jobs here,” he said

The NowChem manager said other local businesses were all making the most of the current opportunities available to them.

"Everybody is making the opportunities where they can as the markets expand,” he said.

“The important thing for any business is to keep looking for those new markets and try to make sure you utilise the opportunity sooner rather than later and not wait around for things to happen.”

Meanwhile, the PM offered little when asked about progress on the new Nowra bridge.

Mr Turnbull said the government had “made a $10 million contribution to the very elaborate planning and design work on the bridge”.

“When that is complete and there is a proposal that is properly costed, obviously we’ll consider it,” he said.

“You’ve got to do the homework first – it’s a lot of money.

“You wouldn’t expect any government to be committing funds to a project until it has actually been planned.”