Opposition finance spokesman Steve Thomas says the wash-up of the State Government’s ill-designed summer jobs campaign shows it was a wasted effort. The former Margaret River-based Liberal MLC said the lack of final solid numbers from the CTRL Your Summer Job campaign, which wrapped with the end of school holidays after seeking to recruit regional 14-year-olds into the struggling hospitality industry, showed “they are trying to hide the true extent of their failure”. Inquiries by the Times failed to yield specific numbers for teens recruited through the online platform overseen by the South West Development Commission. A spokesman for Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said 185 job applications were submitted through the campaign website for 78 jobs listed. However, SWDC would have to check with each business individually to provide statistics for jobs filled, which was unlikely to happen. But the Times understands the hospo gigs website would continue to run for employers looking to employ Capes teens. Ms MacTiernan said the campaign gave teenagers the chance “step up” and “help local businesses in their communities”. “This has also been a great opportunity for them to mature, and to gain skills and income,” she told the Times. But Dr Thomas said the campaign was “even less successful” than the bungled Work and Wander Out Yonder “fiasco” designed to fill gaps in the agriculture sector, particularly vineyards within the Margaret River wine region. “Perhaps the Government should look into a ‘Ctrl your unrealistic advertising’ program,” Dr Thomas said. “It’s like something out of Yes Minister, where being seen to try something is more important than any actual achievement, and the only benefit was Government publicity. “The Minister may have claimed she’s giving the labour shortage issues a crack, but that crack is now a wide-open fissure of failed expectations.” As the Times reported last week, some of those teen workers maintained grace under fire after copping flak amid the high-stakes pressure of the booming summer tourism period and enforcement of mask mandates. Ms MacTiernan had a crisp message for anyone giving youngsters grief for following mandates. “Customers abusing these staff for doing their jobs are pathetic, and need to learn to deal with all hospitality workers with basic decency,” she said. In December, Dr Thomas spoke in Parliament lashing the summer jobs campaign for filling just three positions, though Ms MacTiernan at the time said he jumped the gun rather than waiting for final figures.