Families and businesses in Bundaberg and Burnett are hurting because of the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s do-nothing approach to jobs and its sky-rocketing electricity prices.
On a visit to the region today, LNP Shadow Employment Minister Jarrod Bleijie joined LNP Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett and LNP candidate for Bundaberg David Batt at Red Shed Seafood – a Bundaberg small business slammed by soaring power bills.
Mr Bleijie said Labor’s jobs crisis has hit especially hard in Wide Bay, where 800 young people lost their jobs in the last year.
Youth unemployment in Wide Bay has now reached a staggering 23.5 per cent according to latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data ** – up 2.5 per cent in the last year to be the second-worst youth jobless rate in the state after Outback Queensland.
In a double-whammy, he said Labor’s secret tax on electricity was hurting families, pensioners and further harming job creation across the Bundaberg and Burnett regions.
“Loading up the government-owned electrcity generators and power companies with Labor’s debt has meant it is passed onto consumers through higher power prices,” Mr Bleijie said.
“With the wholesale price going up 70 per cent since Labor came to office, it’s no wonder people are angry at Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor.
“Every extra dollar Labor adds to the power bill of small businesses such as Red Shed Seafood is the nail in the coffin for another Queensland job.”
Mr Bennett said the choice at the next state election was clear.
“Higher power prices are a tax by stealth – pure and simple. Locals everywhere are stopping me, angry about the price of power,” he said.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk’s anti-business, anti-investment Labor government is stripping our young people of the dignity of work, and ripping off every man, woman and child in Queensland with outrageous power bills.
“Labor created this mess on electricty, but instead of now fixing it, what do they do?
“They commit to zero emissions targets, secret plans for carbon taxes and a headlong rush to a 50 per cent renewables target subsidised by taxpayers and that threatens the lights staying on.
“If you want to change the Government and put downward pressure on power prices and car registration, then you need to support the LNP and your local LNP candidate.
“How can Queenslanders afford another three years of Labor?”
Mr Batt said there wasn’t a local business or family he had met that wasn’t hurting from rising power prices.
“Businesses such as Red Shed Seafood are facing the harsh reality of having to increase prices or hold back from growing their business due to these rising electricity costs,” Mr Batt said.
“This Labor Government just doesn’t care about Bundaberg jobs.
“In fact, jobs for regional Queenslanders are so far off the radar of this do-nothing Labor Government that Annastacia Palaszczuk has slashed infrastructure spending by billions and dumped the LNP’s highly-successful $500 million Royalties for Regions program.”
Mr Bleijie said in sharp contrast to Labor’s inaction, an LNP Government would reinstate Royalties for Regions and roll out a $100 million, four-point plan to help put young Queenslanders into work.
“Our Get Queensland Working program includes a $5,000 Queensland Apprenticeship incentive for small business, $500 Tools for Tradies vouchers, a $4,000 Job Start Incentive and discounts on Work Cover premiums for small business,” he said.
“Only an LNP Government will create jobs across Queensland, deliver the vital infrastructure projects the Wide Bay region needs and Build a Better Queensland.”
**Source: ABS 6291.0.55.001
Thursday, 3 August 2017