Wayne Swan: Gladstone to boom

Wayne Swan comment piece on Gladstone

WITH a nickname like The Port City, Gladstone is obviously a town which directly relies on industry and resources to support jobs and the local economy.

It's therefore understandable that people in the Gladstone community might have some reservations about pricing carbon pollution.

You might have seen or heard the mindless negativity and scare campaigns from Tony Abbott arguing that the sky will fall in.

The reality is that Gladstone will not only remain as one of the major engine rooms of our national economy, but your engine room is about to increase in size.

With LNG coming to town there is an unprecedented investment pipeline pumping billions and billions of dollars into your region.

And this is before one even considers the major expansion of the Gladstone Port, which looks set to double its output so that by 2015 more than 100 million tonnes of coal will be going through the port.

This is good for jobs and will no doubt provide many great opportunities for local young people.

Bearing all of this in mind, I think it's disgraceful how people like Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey can come into your community and seek to scare you about job losses.

What a ridiculous and untrue thing to say at a time when you're on the verge of a jobs boom.

I'm sure there are many families in Gladstone and Central Queensland who are asking, “What does a price on carbon pollution mean for me and my family?”

The truth is that nine in 10 households will receive assistance through tax cuts and/or payment increases. On average, it will cost households $9.90 per week but they get $10.10 per week in assistance.

The impact to most households is really minimal, and I would invite you to see for yourself by using the online household estimator at www.cleanenergyfuture.gov.au.

I'm looking forward to being up in Gladstone.

I'll be talking to local people about Gladstone's bright future and the opportunities that it will bring with it.

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