LNP campaign signs in regional Queensland.
LNP campaign signs in regional Queensland.

Harding promises jobs as ‘Qld worst in the country’

LABOR’S handling of the COVID crisis has led Gladstone and Queensland to the highest unemployment rate in the nation, worse than even Victoria in lockdown, says Gladstone’s LNP candidate Ron Harding.

Mr Harding made this announcement just hours before a mining jobs forum to be held tonight at Gladstone’s Oaks Grand Hotel with Keith Pitt, the Resources, Water and Northern Australia Minister.

The LNP candidate said the Australian Bureau of Statics figures released today clearly illustrated the dire state Queensland employment was in due to the Labor government.

Candidates running for the seat of Gladstone at the ballot draw: Glenn Butcher for Labor, Murray Peterson independent, Ron Harding LNP and Kevin Jorgensen for One Nation. Absent Emma Eastaughffe for The Greens.
Candidates running for the seat of Gladstone at the ballot draw: Glenn Butcher for Labor, Murray Peterson independent, Ron Harding LNP and Kevin Jorgensen for One Nation. Absent Emma Eastaughffe for The Greens.

“Queensland has the highest unemployment rate in Australia of 7.7 per-cent,” Mr Harding said.

“This means almost 210,000 Queenslanders are doing it extremely tough while they don’t have a job.

“Even Victoria, which has experienced one of the world’s strictest lockdowns due to the pandemic, has a lower unemployment rate than Queensland.

“I believe employment underpins a strong local, state and national economy, and with a figure of 7.7 per cent of the eligible workforce unemployed, Gladstone and Queensland have dark times ahead.

“Queensland has been languishing at the bottom of the unemployment scale for the past four years, all since Labor has been running the state.”

Mr Harding said his five-point plan for jobs, health, manufacturing, power and the Great Barrier Reef, all hinged on employment.

“Gladstone has seen the prosperity that comes with employment after experiencing the LNG boom and my five-point plan is purely focused on delivering jobs and prosperity to the region and the state,” he said.

“Every facet of my five points will deliver more jobs for Gladstone and better services for our city, which benefits everyone.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Queensland opposition LNP leader Deb Frecklington visit Meridian Helicopters to announce an $11M commitment to the Copperstring project. : NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Queensland opposition LNP leader Deb Frecklington visit Meridian Helicopters to announce an $11M commitment to the Copperstring project. : NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall

LNP leader Deb Frecklington said an LNP government would set an unemployment target of five per cent.

“Queensland is used to be being bottom of the unemployment table, but it is shocking that this state is still performing worse than Victoria where the economy is still in lockdown,” she said.

“These grim figures do not lie.

“Queensland has lost more than 50,000 jobs since February.

The LNP has a plan to create 150,000 jobs in Queensland to lead the state out of recession.

“The LNP will set a 5 per cent (unemployment) target.

“If you don’t have a target, like Labor, you don’t have focus and you simply aren’t working hard enough.

“The LNP’s target of 5 per cent will mean Queensland’s economy is growing and jobs are being created.

“This election is about who has a plan for jobs and recovery.”

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the LNP would have to cut jobs and essential services to achieve their target.

“This is their record, this is what they do,” she said.

“The Leader of the Opposition’s 5 per cent target is irresponsible.”

Treasurer Cameron Dick described the promise from the LNP as “a sham”.

Mr Dick said the Labor Party would not set an unemployment target due to the devastating impacts and uncertainty of the global pandemic.

“There is absolutely no way you can get to 5 per cent unemployment in Queensland, if you are going to sack 30,000 workers to get back to surplus in four years,” he said.

According to Labor estimates, that's what the LNP will have to do to achieve their promises.

“That is what Deb Frecklington and the LNP will have to do.

“They will have to sack 30,000 people to get back to surplus in four years.

“Of course, that will involve sacking 16,500 health workers across the state.”

Related stories:

Premier’s $2m pledge during Gladstone visit

Gladstone election debate to be livestreamed free

Gladstone LNP candidate backs power, jobs policy



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