Employment a key issue in Qld election

Both the ruling LNP and the Labor opposition have identified employment as a key issue for voters in the Queensland state election on Saturday.

As the Brisbane Times points out, the government has staked its future on the $91 million Jobs of Tomorrow package which offers employers a $6000 incentive for each apprentice they hire, as well as increased funding for training.

The LNP has pledged to lease $37 billion worth of public assets and use that money to deal with the state’s debt, as well as invest heavily in new infrastructure. In all, the Newman government has pledged to spend $8.6 billion to invest in areas such as roads, hospitals, schools, and public transport.

The Opposition has rejected the governments’ asset sell-off proposal. However, it has pledged to merge the current five electricity agencies into just two. It claims this will yield annual savings of $150 million.

On the jobs front, Labor has promised to spend $180 million over three years in up-skilling the unemployed; and to modernise the TAFE system.

According to the AMWU, the return of the Newman of government on the weekend would be bad news for Queensland manufacturing.

“Queenslanders need skilled, secure, full-time jobs as a base for their families’ future,” State Secretary Rohan Webb said in a statement.

“The LNP have no interest in manufacturing, they’ve encouraged employers to try to drive down wages but the community knows that struggling in casualised, contract or labour-hire jobs for rock-bottom wages is no future for families.”