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

    Trade and Investment Strategy to support regional jobs

    Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Thursday, April 20, 2017

    Trade and Investment Strategy to support regional jobs

    Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Curtis Pitt says the Palaszczuk Government’s new Trade and Investment Strategy will help drive local employment opportunities in regional Queensland. 

    Speaking in Townsville for a North Queensland launch of the $35 million Advancing Trade and Investment – Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017-2022, Mr Pitt said the strategy was a crucial part of the government’s economic plan. 

    “Like our economic plan, the new strategy has a strong regional focus, particularly when it comes to opportunities in the north of our state and across Northern Australia,” Mr Pitt said. 

    “Regional Queensland export businesses – and the many other firms in their supply chains – will benefit from a strategy that highlights the need to build and innovate from traditional industries like mining, agriculture, tourism and education, and expand up-and-coming sectors like renewables, biofutures, aerospace and advanced manufacturing.” 

    Mr Pitt said the latest ABS figures for regional and regional youth unemployment highlighted the need for initiatives such as the government’s Back to Work program offering $10,000 and $15,000 incentives to regional employers hiring unemployed or long-term unemployed jobseekers as well as the $20,000 Back to Work Youth Boost for engaging 15-24 year olds. 

    “Today’s figures reinforce that Palaszczuk Government is correct in maintaining its focus on job-creation, especially in regional Queensland,” he said. 

    “Job creation along with the rebuilding from Tropical Cyclone Debbie will be the focus of the upcoming State Budget to be released on 13 June.” 

    Mr Pitt said the $100 million, two-year Back to Work program had seen 2,777 unemployed Queenslanders hired by more than 1,300 regional Queensland employers since July 2016. 

    “The government is focused on job-creation and we are seeing some positive outcomes in today’s ABS figures showing reduced unemployment rates in some regions.”

    Today’s ABS data shows overall unemployment rates fell from March 2016 to March 2017 in: 

    • Cairns — down 0.9 percentage point to 7.3%
    • Logan-Beaudesert — down 1.6ppt to 5.6%
    • Moreton Bay South — down 0.5ppt to 4.4%
    • Darling Downs-Maranoa — down 0.5ppt to 3.6%
    • Fitzroy — down 0.1ppt to 6.7%
    • Mackay — down 1.5ppt to 5.7%
    • Gold Coast — down 0.2ppt to 5.3%
    • Sunshine Coast — down 0.4ppt to 5.0% and down 2.3% since the January 2015 state election
    • Moreton Bay North — down 0.1ppt to 6.4%. 

    Regionally the overall unemployment rates rose from March 2016 to March 2017 in: 

    • Ipswich — up 0.2 percentage points to 7.8% but down 0.3% from February to March this year and down 0.8% since the January 2015 state election
    • Toowoomba — up 0.7ppt to 5.3% and 0.1% from February to March
    • Townsville — up 3.0ppt to 11.3% but down 0.3% from February to March this year
    • Wide Bay — up 0.6ppt to 9.5% but down 0.2% from February to March and down 0.6% since the January 2015 state election
    • Queensland Outback — up 1.5ppt to 11.4% but down 0.4% from February to March. 

    Mr Pitt said that overall there had been a rise of 0.8 percentage point in the youth jobless rate statewide over the past 12 months to reach 13.7 per cent; while the total Queensland trend unemployment rate rose 0.2 percentage points to 6.4 per cent.

    Regional youth jobless rates fell over the 12 months to March 2017 in: 

    • Logan-Beaudesert — down 2.6 percentage points to 12.3% and down 3.3% since the January 2015 state election
    • Gold Coast — down 0.5ppt to 12.1% and down 2.5% since the January 2015 state election
    • Mackay — down 3.5ppt to 9.9%);
    • Moreton Bay South — down 2.8ppt to 10.5%
    • Moreton Bay North — down 1.7ppt to 13.1%
    • Cairns — down 1.3ppt to 21.0%. 

    Regional youth jobless rates rose over the 12 months to March 2017 in: 

    • Fitzroy — up 1.1 percentage points to 12.6%
    • Darling Downs-Maranoa — up 1.6ppt to 9.3%
    • Queensland Outback — up 9.8ppt to 41.1%
    • Sunshine Coast — up 2.2ppt to 11.0% but down 0.3% from February to March this year and down 3.9% since the January 2015 state election
    • Toowoomba — up 1.5ppt to 9.5% but down 0.4% from February to March and down 1.9% since the January 2015 state election
    • Townsville — up 4.9ppt to 21.7% but down 0.1% from February to March
    • Ipswich — up 0.9ppt to 13.8% but static since February and down 3.8% since the January 2015 state election
    • Wide Bay — up 5.3ppt to 24.7%. 

    Businesses can visit www.qld.gov.au/backtowork or call 13 QGOV (13 74 68) for more information about Back to Work, or to apply for an employer support payment, including the $20,000 Back to Work Youth Boost payment.

    Media contact 0419 945 546