Future projects to provide jobs for LNG workers: Premier
QUEENSLAND Premier Campbell Newman says the government is working on a range of different projects to ensure workers in the LNG industry have re-employment opportunities as the multi-billion dollar sector reaches the end of its construction phase.
He said thousands of comparable trade jobs would become available across the Galilee Basin once the coal projects mooted for the region received government approval.
It has been two years this week since the Liberal National Party swept into power, registering the biggest win in Australian political history.
Mr Newman, talking exclusively to APN Newsdesk, said the government had done everything it said it would do since winning office.
"We have got the economy going, created jobs and also reformed government so it is the best performing State Government," he said.
"Queensland's economy is now out-performing other states. We are the lead economy nationally and all sorts of statistics support that.
"Queenslanders can be very excited that this will be the engine room of the nation."
Mr Newman said Gladstone formed an important part of the bigger picture which would see the state become the engine room of the nation.
He said there was also a range of tourism projects stretching down the Queensland coast that would require a skilled workforce.
"While they are not quite the same skill sets, trades such as civils, electrical and plumbing will be required," he said.
"There is billions of dollars worth of investment planned for Port Douglas, Yeppoon, Whitsundays and the Sunshine Coast.
"There are also other projects that are going through the approval process at the moment and awaiting investor support."
Mr Newman reiterated the government had no intention of selling the Port of Gladstone, but the conversation about a long-term lease of the port was a discussion the community needed to be involved in.
He said the government had done all in its power to balance the books after inheriting an $80 billion debt which was costing Queenslanders $450,000 per hour in interest.
"It is there, it is a reality. It is a community problem not just a government problem," he said.
"I go to Gladstone and the mayor says she wants this, this, this and this. Anywhere you go in the state people are saying they need things.
"Labor maxed out the credit card. We might have balanced the budget, but there is still this debt sitting there."
However, Mr Newman said he was particularly proud of how his government had turned around the ailing health system to make it one of the best performing in the nation.
"Two years ago the health system was a shambles," he said.
"Emergency departments are now far better and elective surgery waiting lists are now the best in the nation, according to the Australian Medical Association," he said.
"Public dental waiting lists have also been slashed. The results speak for themselves and that is something we are extremely proud of.
"Queenslanders should be proud that they are seeing their health service turned around.
"It was supposedly a complete basket case and the person who said that was former Premier Anna Bligh."