LNP job cuts causing mass regional unemployment

REGIONAL Queensland faces a radical change in its economic landscape as LNP job cuts impact on employment and local economies, Queensland unions say.

Queensland Council of Unions President John Battams claimed on Friday that more than 8000 public sector and non-government organisation jobs had now been lost from regional Queensland.

He said QCU figures showed job cuts would take more than $600 million spending power away from some of Queensland's struggling economies.

"The state unemployment rate is already at 6.3%, well above the national average of 5.5%," he said.

"Historically, there has been a gap between the state unemployment rate and the actual rate in some regions.

"Some areas of Queensland will be facing even higher rates of unemployment as these regional job cuts bite.

"The QCU has been receiving reports from across the state about how tough workers and communities are finding it.

"Even if they have a job, they aren't spending because there's a good chance the next round of job cuts might affect them, so they are keeping their wallets and purses closed."

Minister Assisting the Premier Glen Elmes said the unions' claims of huge job losses in the regions was "just plain wrong".

"The vast majority of the 10,600 positions to be made redundant are in Brisbane," he said.

"Regional-based people who do take a redundancy will, in many cases, leave with more than a year's pay, so any immediate effect on local economies will be minimal."

This comes as the Queensland Opposition releases cuts to QBuild regional maintenance workers.

The Opposition says a letter to staff, from Deputy Director-General Graham Atkins, identified 39 sacked on the Sunshine Coast, nine in the Rockhampton and Gladstone region, 19 in the Maryborough and Bundaberg region and four in Toowoomba.

There are also 228 in Brisbane, 16 on the Gold Coast and seven in Townsville leaving - all before Christmas.

Shadow Public Works Minister Bill Byrne said that was 322 carpenters, tradesmen and maintenance workers Queensland will be forced to do without.



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