Latest statistics show the Newman Government’s promise to deliver lower unemployment is looking increasingly hollow for those who live in the vast central belt of the state stretching from the Central Queensland coast to the NT and SA borders.
Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt said regional unemployment figures released on Thursday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that in the Mackay-Fitzroy Central West region the number of unemployed almost doubled in the year to the end of July.
“In July 2012 there was a combined total of 8,000 out of work in the region which comprises the key employment hubs of Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone and Emerald as well as the coalfields and agricultural land,” Mr Pitt said.
“The latest ABS figures for July 2013 show that total now stands at 15,500 jobless.
“These are shocking results for what has traditionally been Queensland’s economic powerhouse.
“In 12 months in this one region 7,500 additional families have become victims of the LNP’s economic mismanagement. A year ago the Mackay-Fitzroy Central West region had a low unemployment rate of 3.4%. Today it is 6.3%.
“It is further proof that Campbell Newman and Treasurer Tim Nicholls have no idea how to deliver their election promise to bring the State’s jobless rate down to 4% over six years.
“Since the LNP hiked coal royalties, thousands of jobs have gone at the mines and in the service industries. These statistics make grim reading but it is even grimmer when you look at the background.
“The LNP delivered the weakest jobs growth for more than two decades in the last financial year. The last time job creation was this weak in Queensland was during the recession of 1990/91.
“Since Mr Newman became Premier Queensland’s trend rate of unemployment has risen from 5.5% to 6.1%
“His Government’s own predictions are for business investment to contract in each of the next three years and economic growth is not projected to return to the level under the previous Labor Government for another two years,” he said.