Shadow Treasurer and Member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt, says the Newman Government needs to lift its efforts to create jobs in regional Queensland.

Mr Pitt said a regional breakdown of jobless figures for November released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the Premier was not meeting his promise to generate 420,000 new jobs across Queensland over six years.

“To meet the Premier’s commitment his government must generate 190 jobs a day across the state, but so far it has cut 14,000 government jobs, scrapped frontline services, and withdrawn funding from community groups who in turn have shed jobs,” Mr Pitt said.

He said the latest figures for November showed a patchwork of regional jobless trends:

  • Far North Queensland – 8.1% (down from 9.2% last year). The fall in the unemployment rate partly reflects a fall in the participation rate from 70.4% to 69% and there are 1,600 less unemployed than in November 2011
  • Northern North West Queensland – 3.5% (down from 7.9% last year)
  • Mackay-Fitzroy Central West – 4.6% (up from 4.3% last year) with 1,000 more unemployed than November 2011
  • Darling Downs South West – 4.6% (up from 3.8% last year) with 1,300 more unemployed than November 2011
  • Wide Bay-Burnett – 8.8% (up from 5.3% last year) with 5,200 more unemployed than November 2011
  • West Moreton – 7% (up from 5.7% last year) with 800 more unemployed than November 2011
  • Sunshine Coast – 6.4% (up from 5.5% last year) with 1,600 more unemployed than November 2011
  • Gold Coast – 4.4% (down from 6.3% last year)
  • Ipswich – 7% (up from 5.4% last year) with 1,500 more unemployed since November 2011.

“This points to the need for the Newman Government to take a fairer approach through programs such as its Royalties for the Regions which is in reality a grants scheme that does nothing for many resource-intensive regions, such as Far North Queensland,” he said.

Mr Pitt said both the Westpac Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Survey and the National Australia Bank Business Confidence Survey released this week showed a slump in confidence in Queensland.

“Both surveys suggest the LNP leader team’s constant efforts to talk down the economy may have become a self-fulfilling prophecy,” he said.

“The LNP leadership team of the Premier, Deputy Premier and the Treasurer can’t keep talking about our state being on ‘a power dive into the abyss’ or equating Queensland with Spain and saying we are ‘bankrupt’ without having some impact.

“Business and consumer confidence can be fragile and if you say something negative often enough it can take hold.

“It is clear the LNP leadership does not appreciate those subtleties of public debate and that is hurting confidence and affecting job creation, especially in regional areas,” he said.