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SVdP fears for the new jobless after Ansett collapse

The St Vincent de Paul Society is bracing for a huge increase in demand for its services following the collapse of Ansett airlines and a downturn in tourism.

"St Vinnies is gearing up to help the growing number of new poor families in Queensland," the Society's Queensland State president Tim O'Connor said. "This follows estimates that up to 50,000 workers from allied tourist industries could face unemployment after the Ansett collapse and the downturn in tourism."

Mr O'Connor said the return of some Ansett flights would make little difference overall and the society expected a crisis in four to six weeks.

He said: "We estimate that increased demand for our services will be felt within the next six to eight weeks, as families' savings start to dry up and parents try to budget for Christmas."

And in Canberra, Catholic Welfare Australia, the Church's peak welfare body warned of a bleak jobs outlook and called on all major political parties to be upfront with their policies on employment.

Director Toby O'Connor pointed out that in the past three months job vacancies have fallen by 7% and "a massive 23% over the past year".

Catholic Leader