Campbell Newman and his Ministers must explain to Far North Queenslanders why they have failed to deliver on their promises when they arrive in Mareeba this weekend for a Community Cabinet, says Shadow Treasurer and Member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt.

“When he arrives in Mareeba he must explain to local people why he has destroyed 20,000 full time jobs across the state since he became Premier and how he can claim to have improved health services for the region when his government has sacked 306 health workers in Cairns and the Hinterland.

“Why is Treasurer Tim Nicholls spending tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer funds on political advertising for asset sales when he slashed $295 million from infrastructure spending in the Far North in this year’s budget.

“Far North Queenslanders want to know why the Treasurer has ripped so much from them, while splurging a staggering $2.6 billion on an unnecessary office tower in Brisbane CBD for himself and his LNP colleagues.

“As a direct result of his bungling, taxpayers throughout the state will be paying $1.2 billion in rent over the next decade or so on this Executive Tower, plus another $1.2 billion to rent back the seven Brisbane office blocks he sold for $237 million less than their market value,” he said.

“As well as explaining their catastrophic failures they should also start to listen to Queenslanders instead of arrogantly dictating to them.

“In particular they should listen to Stanwell workers from the Barron Gorge Hydro Power Station whose jobs will be threatened by the LNP’s privatisation plans.

“And they should listen to local landholders and all those in the region, who will tell them that our electricity assets and water assets like Sunwater should not be sold.”

Labor Candidate for Cook Billy Gordon says that before the election in March 2012, Campbell Newman assured Queenslanders he had a plan to reduce unemployment to 4% in six years.

“Unfortunately for the residents of Mareeba Shire and the Atherton Tablelands, any plan he had has been a spectacular failure,” said Mr Gordon.

“Instead we have seen this government sack more the 24,000 government workers, savage the social fabric of Queensland and attack our public health system.

“Under the Newman Government, Queensland’s jobless rate has leapt from 5.5% to an 11-year high of 7%, but for parts of Far North Queensland it is much worse.

“The latest available Small Area Labour Market figures published by the Federal Department of Employment for the June Quarter show the jobless rate is 9% on the Tablelands; and 11.6% in Mareeba.

“Youth unemployment in some parts of FNQ is tracking at more than 20%, yet the Premier refuses to acknowledge there is a problem.”