Konrad Forrest
Western Australia

The jobless rate in Western Australia increased from 6.5 per cent to 6.9 per cent last month, which is the highest level since 2002. The state Opposition leader blamed Premier Colin Barnett for the rise.

"6.9 per cent is catastrophic. The Government has its head in the sand," Mr McGowan said.“Mr Barnett thinks everything’s okay. It is clearly not okay. That’s why we need a change, we need a fresh start, we need a plan for jobs. They failed to diversify the economy, they failed to ensure there was significant financial capacity left from the boom times, for the lean times that followed.”

But the Western Australia's Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) used the jobless figures to again call for changes to payroll tax.

“This unemployment rate is unacceptable,” CCI chief executive Deidre Wilmott said.“It’s the highest that it’s been since 2002 and it calls for urgent policy announcements by our political parties going into an election.The CCI wants the current $850,000 payroll tax threshold immediately indexed to the Consumer Price Index , and then increased by $50,000 each year to eventually reach $1.5 million." CCI fundamentally wants to put an end to payroll tax.