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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Time for federal action on jobs

    Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

    Time for federal action on jobs

    Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment, Curtis Pitt, says the federal government needs to match the job-creation efforts of the Palaszczuk Government. 

    “Where others talk the Palaszczuk Government is about action, we are all about creating new employment opportunities for Queenslanders,” Mr Pitt told State Parliament today. 

    “We are putting our money where our mouth is – with $1 billion invested in programs creating jobs and building infrastructure across regional Queensland. 

    “This has been our focus since day one, in fact, since the election a net total of 33,700 jobs have been created in Queensland. 

    “Unemployment is now at 6.4 per cent trend – down from the 6.6 per cent we inherited from the LNP in 2015. I am concerned by the slight rise we saw in the most recent trend figure of 6.4 per cent – up from a revised 6.3 per cent in January. 

    “Yet despite this, on average 1,350 jobs have been created each month since the January 2015 election.” 

    Mr Pitt said a range of indicators and independent surveys showed the government’s economic plan was working. 

    “We’ve rolled up our sleeves and doing the heavy lifting to stare down the challenges ahead,” he said.

    “What we really need to see right now is the Turnbull Government stepping up to match our efforts. 

    “We need direct federal government Investment in infrastructure investment – not politicking. We need direct federal government support for employment programs to match our efforts. 

    “We need the Turnbull Government to match the type of programs we’re delivering to support employment and growth, particularly in regional Queensland.” 

    Mr Pitt said the Palaszczuk Government was delivering a range of programs to generate jobs. 

    “Our successful $20,000 Back to Work Youth Boost program - now extended to October – giving businesses an incentive to hire unemployed people aged 15-24 - has created nearly 800 jobs for young people,” he said. 

    “The Back to Work and Back to Work Youth Boost programs have seen over 1100 employers participate – creating jobs for regional Queenslanders. 

    “Our $200 million Works for Queensland program is allowing councils to undertake job-creating, maintenance and minor infrastructure projects right now. 

    “We invested $440 million in our Accelerated Works Program to bring forward projects to stimulate economic activity in regional Queensland. 

    “The $375 million Building Our Regions program is supporting more than 600 jobs across 51 projects funded in the second round. 

    “We’ve doubled the payroll tax rebate from 25% to 50% for employers hiring trainees or apprentices. Almost 3,500 businesses have so far taken advantage of concessions worth $17.8 million. 

    “We reintroduced the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program axed by the Newman-Nicholls government with $240 million over four years to help an estimated 32,000 jobseekers train for and secure jobs. 

    “Our $200 million Jobs and Regional Growth Package includes $130 million specifically to support private sector projects and economic development. 

    “This is a job creation program, where we have started to roll out projects including support for Glencore’s operations in Mount Isa and the re-bricking of its copper smelter to ensure job security and growth.” 

    Mr Pitt said the results were clear: 

    • Queensland posted a record $52.7 billion in exports last year. 
    • Last week’s NAB Business confidence survey ranks Queensland at +11, higher than the national average of +8 and more than double the confidence level of +5 in NSW. 
    • Annual growth in retail spending in Queensland is higher than NSW, Victoria and the national average. 
    • Queensland is on track to be the fastest growing state in 2016-17, with the latest ABS statistics showing trend growth in State Final Demand for the December quarter of 0.5%. 
    • Queensland’s domestic economy had seen an upturn with four consecutive quarters of positive growth in State Final Demand after eight negative quarters.  

    Queenslanders voted for a Government willing to do the hard work in the face of tough times – and that’s exactly what we are delivering,” Mr Pitt said. 

    Media contacts: 0447 316 432 / 0419 945 546