Plan for 8000 jobs through business incentives

Winners

 

Farmers: $78 million in drought and rural assistance packages.

Regional jobseekers: Lucrative incentives to hire regional unemployed.

First-home buyers: $40 million across state.

Tradies: $175 million increase to Building Our Region program.

 

Losers

Sex offenders: $5.1million over four years to modernise technology to monitor high-risk sex offenders in the community.

Drug kingpins: $70million to go after organised crime kingpins.

Domestic violence offenders: $10.3million over four years for additional perpetrator interventions to help protect victims.

Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim: Cannot get jobs incentives because on SEQ borders.

A TWO-YEAR plan to generate 8000 new jobs will focus on getting regional Queenslanders, suffering from the mining downturn and prolonged drought conditions, back to work.

Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt announced yesterday a $100 million plan to attack unemployment in regional communities.

But according to the budget's own forecast the plan will not dramatically impact unemployment rates that are projected to drop from 6.5% in 2016-17 to 5.75% in 2019-20.

In his budget speech to parliament, Mr Pitt said the plan would help employers create 8000 jobs in two years.

"It includes Back to Work employer support payments of up to $10,000 for employers who hire - and keep someone employed - for 12 months or more in Queensland's regions," he said.

"And this payment increases to up to $15,000 if an employer hires a long-term unemployed person."

The program will be funded through consolidated revenue. But the scheme will not be available in the south-east, including in communities like Toowoomba, the Sunshine Coast and Ipswich.

LNP leader Tim Nicholls said the budget wouldn't remedy unemployment.

"Labor promised a budget that would deliver jobs but unemployment will rise, they promised a budget that would pay down debt but instead debt will rise, and they promised record infrastructure but have slashed infrastructure funding to a record low," he said.

Ernst and Young Brisbane managing partner Paul Laxon said although the plan would help struggling areas it was not a long-term solution to regional unemployment.

"I think this is a really positive move for employers, especially in parts of the state where unemployment is rampant," he said.

"The question would be whether that would be the most efficient and effective way to create jobs."

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland general manager Nick Behrens said the business community would welcome the program.

"Anything we can do to assist small business to employ an additional Queenslander we think is a fantastic idea," he said.

- ARM NEWSDESK


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