LNP bad for city as unemployment rate goes from 5.3 to 12.3%

OUT OF WORK: Ipswich unemployment has hit 12.3% and there are thousands of residents now looking for work.
OUT OF WORK: Ipswich unemployment has hit 12.3% and there are thousands of residents now looking for work. File

THE IPSWICH unemployment rate has hit 12.3% with 11,700 workers having lost their jobs since the LNP took office two years ago.

Queensland Council of Unions president John Battams pointed to the cuts to the public sector by the Newman Government and its flow-on effect to the local economy, along with the lack of infrastructure projects in Ipswich, as reasons for the steep rise.

But Ipswich' LNP MP Ian Berry said his government's plan was to "decrease the size of government, decrease regulation and stimulate the economy so businesses are prepared to take risks and employ people".

ABS figures show the Ipswich unemployment rate has hit 12.3% and that it was 5.3% when the LNP won government in March, 2012. Mr Battams said "the election of the Newman Government hasn't been good for the people of Ipswich".

"The sacking of 300 to 400 public servants in the Ipswich area pulls out about $25 million in income from the region every year, and the multiplier effect when you drag all that money out of your local economy is that it impacts all your local businesses," he said

"The other problem is they (the LNP) haven't announced too much in terms of major projects to kick-start local economies in places like Ipswich."

But Mr Berry said employment opportunities would be generated by the private sector.

"We have to decrease the size of government, and stimulate our businesses," he said.

"Anna Bligh tried to create jobs by employing public servants but it does not work.

"If you make the public service bigger then you, me and our neighbours have to pay for it by taxes."

Mr Berry pointed to the opening of the Masters hardware store in Bundamba that will employ 110 people as "a positive sign, and I congratulate them for making an investment in Ipswich".

Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller said Ipswich's unemployment figures were exacerbated by "the cutbacks to training programs like Skilling Queenslanders for Work".

"There are a significant number of people in Ipswich who once worked in the community organisations that were funded by the Queensland Government," she said.

"For public servants who had worked their whole careers in the public service, some would have got 12 months pay, and it is now they are going on unemployment benefits."

Ipswich Unemployment

  • February, 2014 - 12.3%
  • March, 2012 - 5.3%

Year ending average

  • February, 2014 - 8.5%
  • March, 2012 - 5.3%

Topics:  newman government queensland council of unions unemployment rate

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