Thursday 23 March 2017

Bad news for Noosa businesses and job seekers

Queensland is officially the toughest place to do business in Australia and has also recorded the highest unemployment rate in the nation.

State Member for Noosa Glen Elmes said under Labor, Queensland is leading the way in job losses, bankruptcies and business exits.

“The Australian Bureau of Statistics last week reported Queensland’s appalling state of affairs. More than 53,000 Queensland businesses closed their doors in the last financial year, and there are 66,000 fewer jobs than 12 months ago.

“In more bad news the Australian Financial Security Authority confirmed Queensland represents one-third of all business bankruptcies in Australia, nearly double that of our population share. At 12.7 per cent, Queensland has the highest percentage of business exits of any Australian state in 2015/16 – well ahead of the national average.

“In a state that is home to 417,000 businesses, the closure of 1000 businesses each week is a huge chunk out of our local economy and a reminder of just how tough locals have been doing it in the last two years under Labor.

“Small business is the backbone of Noosa’s local economy, and we simply can’t stand by and watch mum and dad operators, many of whom employ a number of staff and apprentices, close their doors. Not only is this dire for the families which are directly affected but the entire community suffers.

“The reality is that in the absence of significant Government investment in large infrastructure projects, when a job is lost, it is lost for good. There are more job seekers competing for fewer jobs, and more locals experiencing the long, frustrating and disheartening wait in the unemployment line.

According to new labour force figures Queensland’s unemployment rate of 6.7 per cent is the highest in Australia. The State lost 66,000 in the last 12 months and a staggering 12,000 jobs in just one month.

“What is also extremely concerning is that Queensland’s youth unemployment rate jumped to 14.8 per cent, 20 per cent in some towns  There are almost 15,000 fewer young Queenslanders with a job now than when Labor was elected two years ago, and 3,500 youth jobs were lost last month alone.

“Our young people are our future and they are Noosa’s biggest exports - they deserve to have opportunities to succeed, but without jobs and under a Labor led Government, they are struggling and losing hope. Queensland’s list of economic fails includes winning the title of having the largest number of people giving up looking for work. 

“With unemployment high and business investment in decline, it is imperative the Labor Government address the core issue and that is the state debt, which this financial year is $73.7 billion dollars, and costs $4 billion dollars annually to service.

 “What this means for Noosa is that large infrastructure projects such as Beckmans Road will remain in doubt, the latest construction figures for which are estimated between $37 and $40 million dollars.

 “I am in constant talks with the Leader of the Opposition and the Shadow Treasurer to make not only Beckmans Road a priority for an LNP Government, but to clean up once and for all the costly mess that is the disused, abandoned and decaying collection of old Tafe buildings. After two years in Government and no action on the Tafe, it is the greatest local example of Labor’s inability to balance the books. The solution is simple - either sell the site and return much needed funds to Treasury coffers, or lease it.

“A future LNP Government would strengthen and diversify our economy by focusing on six key drivers; tourism, resources, agriculture, construction and manufacturing, education and services, science and technology,” Mr Elmes said