Jobs figures out today highlight the need for Queensland to reduce debt so it can increase funding for job-creating infrastructure projects.
Treasurer Tim Nicholls said while the ABS figures showed Queensland’s annual trend jobs growth was higher than the national average at 1.4 per cent, there was still more to be done.
“Regardless of uncertainty over recent ABS figures*, what we know is the strong fiscal strategies our Government put in place has seen more than 61,800 jobs created in Queensland since the LNP came to office,” Mr Nicholls said.
“We’ve created the second highest number of jobs of any Australian state in the last twelve months and our participation rate is 1.3 per cent higher than the national average.
“We also expect to see the economy grow at 6 per cent in 2015-16 – which means thousands of new jobs and new income for Queenslanders.
“However we know that while the State’s economy is still growing strongly, the benefits are not being felt by all Queenslanders.”
Mr Nicholls said employment would be further bolstered if the Government was given a mandate to implement its $8.6 billion Strong Choices Investment Program which could create up to 25,000 new jobs.
“If we can reduce our $4 billion a year interest bill on the State’s $80 billion debt we can start to invest in the sorts of projects that generate those jobs,” he said.
“Our plan includes significant investment in regional Queensland, creating more jobs in local communities.
Mr Nicholls said comments today from Commonwealth Bank Chief Economist Michael Blythe underlined the importance of the Government’s strong plan to invest in job creating infrastructure for the future.
Speaking on ABC radio, Mr Blythe said investing in other sectors of the Queensland economy as current mining construction related activity winds down would be vital to taking the State forward.
“This mirrors the Government’s planned and methodical approach to building our four pillar economy, with our Strong Choices final plan to pay down Labor’s $80 billion debt, invest in vital infrastructure and lower the cost of living for Queensland families,” Mr Nicholls said.