Regions ask parties to safeguard millions of jobs
MILLIONS of Queenslanders working within the state's major industries have urged political parties to prioritise the 'Three R's' - revenue, regions, and regulation - to ensure a strong post-COVID recovery.
AgForce, Queensland Resources Council (QRC), Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC), Property Council of Australia (PC) and Timber Queensland (TQ) have joined forces to call on the next State Government to prioritise the 'Three R's'.
They are calling on the next Queensland Government to commit to developing the state's regions, stabilising the budget and collaborating effectively with industry bodies on regulation.
AgForce General President Georgie Somerset said regional Queensland was the engine room of the State's economy and needed appropriate policy settings to be able to deliver maximum value for all Queenslanders.
"Agriculture - driven by around 18,000 primarily family-owned farms who feed and clothe us - pumps $18 billion into the economy annually and is the cornerstone of thousands of rural and regional communities," Mrs Somerset said.
QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said each industry body shared the view that keeping Queenslanders earning, working and contributing to the State economy was the best way to respond to and overcome the challenges of COVID-19.
"The Queensland resources industry contributed $74 billion to the state economy last year and supported the jobs of 372,000 people, so we're asking the next government to work closely with our sector for the benefit of all Queenslanders to create more jobs and stimulate a strong economic recovery from COVID," Mr Macfarlane said.
CEO Daniel Gschwind said tourism delivered vital economic benefits to regional communities that supported thousands of jobs in all parts of the State.
"A partnership with government is critical to develop catalytic infrastructure and provide an efficient regulatory framework to fully activate tourism's potential for the recovery," Mr Gschwind said.
PC's Queensland Executive Director Chris Mountford said unlocking private sector investment must be at the forefront of any new Government's agenda.
"The private sector is ready and willing to invest and create new jobs in Queensland, however without the right tax settings in place, that investment will find a new home elsewhere," Mr Mountford said.
TQ CEO Mick Stephens said that the forest products industry supported many regional jobs and delivered much needed timber supply into the State's building and construction sector.
"Having more certainty around regulation and infrastructure will improve the investment environment and allow the industry to grow and further contribute to regional jobs and prosperity," Mr Stephens said.
Agriculture, mining and gas, tourism, timber and property industries, collectively employ one in three Queenslanders.
At a time when Queensland has recorded Australia's highest unemployment rate, with forecasts it will rise to nine per cent, the five peak organisations have established common ground and United for Recovery on behalf of their sectors and the community.