Bill Shorten to visit Bendigo today

Minister for Workplace Relations, Financial Services and Superannuation Bill Shorten has met with members of the Bendigo council  to discuss its $10.3 million superannuation shortfall.

He deflected responsibility for the shortfall back onto local councils saying the federal government wasn't the one who employed local councils.

City of Greater Bendigo mayor Lisa Ruffell said the community would suffer unless all levels of government worked together to solve the superannuation costs.

“It’s our communities that are suffering as a result of us having to regularly top up the local authorities defined benefits fund to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars,” she said.

“This is money that could instead be invested in better services and improved infrastructure for Victorian residents and the problem will only get worse unless all there levels of government work together to fix this.

“I’m very keen to raise this matter directly with the Premier so all three levels of government can agree on a way forward with the aim of reducing the impact this is having on our communities.

“It’s all very well to keep asking local government to provide more and more, but it’s just not sustainable if at the same time local government is having to find millions to fund these massive shortfalls.”

Earlier, Mr Shorten delivered the latest unemployment figures.

He said the news was good for hard-working Australians ahead of Christmas.

"Unemployment, defying market expectations, has fallen in Australia to 5.2 per cent," he said.

"This is better than expected news."

Mr Shorten also toured the Bendigo Bank with Labor candidate for Bendigo Lisa Chesters, who said it was an important visit. 

“I look forward to introducing him to community leaders and touring places like the Bendigo Bank,” she said. 

“It’s also exciting our vibrant financial sector has an opportunity to talk directly to the minster about proposed reforms to the sector, which are about getting, fair balanced and accurate advice.”

Ms Chesters said most people would agree council staff needed to be paid their correct superannuation entitlements. 

“It’s about making sure we know how to do that, as well as the council ensuring good service to the region,” she said.

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