[singlepic id=432 w=320 h=240 float=left] Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said while the number of jobs and services being cut by the Newman Government seems to grow endlessly each day, the personal impact of these cuts cannot be overlooked.

“Recently local garden hire company Pynes contract with a Cairns-based State Government department was cancelled due to the Newman Government’s new policy scrapping indoor plants in the public service,” Mr Pitt said.

“The contract was worth $800 a month for the indoor plant hire company which employs nine locals, and was the first of many.

“The value of state government contracts to Pynes is around $60,000 and to date the Newman Government has cancelled seven similar contracts with the group.

“The company fears because of this loss of business they will be forced to lay off valuable staff who will find it increasingly difficult to find alternative employment.

“It will also be the last straw for some indoor plant hire companies, particularly in regional areas who are already struggling in the two-speed economy.

Mr Pitt said this is only one example of the Newman Government hurting a local small business, but it is being repeated all over Queensland.

“When interviewed recently Mr Newman said he didn’t care about pot plants, but does he care about small businesses?” he said.

“The LNP Government promised renewed hope for small business, but Mr Newman’s short-sighted decision to cancel indoor plant hire contracts impacts on all growers and suppliers of indoor plants, mainly small businesses.

“The Newman Government has already indicated all the jobs at the Government nursery GoPlant will be scrapped.

“Many of these employees are people with a disability who will find it difficult to gain employment elsewhere.

Managing Director of Pynes Indoor Garden Hire and Garden Management, Collin Messervy, said even if Mr Newman doesn’t appreciate plants, he should at least be humble enough to heed the facts.

“Research clearly demonstrates removing plants to save a few dollars is counterproductive in a workplace environment, not to mention the irreparable damage to the industry in a town already struggling,” Mr Messservy said.

“This decision will force us to lay off valued, experienced and trained staff who will find it increasingly difficult to find alternative employment. Cairns cannot afoffd to see more job losses, more businesses pushed to the wall.

“The Government will also increase their costs through lower public service productivity, with increases in stress levels, absentee rates and health risks from polluted air-conditioned offices, as evidenced by University studies.”

This more than offsets the dollars spent on their hire. It’s one of the best, cost effective measures employers can take to significantly lower staff turnover, lower stress levels and reduce sick days.

Mr Pitt said the Newman Government is heartlessly slashing and burning jobs and services across Queensland with complete disregard for the effect on locals in the regions like Cairns.

“The harsh cuts being made by the LNP government are not because of Labor’s time in office,” Mr Pitt said.

“They’ve decided this is the only way they can pay for their $5.7 billion in savings that they said they’d found before the election to pay for their election commitments.

“Quite clearly, they hadn’t found those savings because they still can’t or won’t say how they’ll fund them.”