Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says he welcomed the latest Commsec State of the States report but it highlighted the fact that Queensland was ranked second at the time of the last state election in terms of economic growth and had since dropped to fourth place.
“Only the Newman Government could try to spin as a positive the fact its stewardship has sent Queensland backwards to fourth spot in these rankings,” Mr Pitt said.
“I am positive about our state’s future and its growth prospects in the medium term and I welcome any improvement in key indicators.
“But it has to be noted that the Newman Government is yet to reveal its own plans to underpin economic and employment growth instead of relying on Labor’s legacy in office.
“In that policy vacuum any good economic news we are seeing is largely due to the flow-on effects of the major resources projects initiated by the former Labor Government such as LNG production and exports.
“We are yet to see one single major public infrastructure project started by the Newman Government to create new jobs and secure existing ones.”
Mr Pitt said Queensland households had their own benchmarks for economic management.
“The measures that are important to most Queenslanders are whether they have a job, whether their children will have jobs, and whether they can do more than just meet the cost of living,” he said.
“On those counts the Newman Government has been an abject failure because our jobless rate remains high, we have 14,300 more people unemployed since the 2012 election, and the LNP has broken all of its key promises on containing the cost of living.”
Mr Pitt said Queensland Treasury’s State Accounts data — business investment, dwelling investment, and household consumption — were all recording lower growth than last financial year.
“Unemployment is also higher under the Newman Government,” he said.
“The growth result of 4.3% mentioned in The Courier-Mail today is lower than the 5.3% growth recorded over the year to June last year or the 5.1% growth recorded over the year to March quarter 2012.
“Even so, back then current Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls was on the Opposition benches and calling the state an ‘economic basket case’.
“The growth result over the last financial year has been propped up by coal exports partly reflecting a continued recovery from natural disasters in 2010-11 as mines previously flooded return to production.
“While this is welcome and great for company profit margins, most Queensland families do not feel the impact of this growth.
“The measures reflecting areas that matter most to them — jobs, retail spending and business investment are now recording lower growth.
“The business investment figures in today’s Commsec report are merely a continuation of LNG investment initiated under the former Government with the growth result now lower as investment ramps down,” Mr Pitt said.