Launch of Cashless Card in Hinkler - Keith Pitt (Fed. Member for Hinkler) with Paul Fletcher (Min. for Families and Social Services).
Launch of Cashless Card in Hinkler - Keith Pitt (Fed. Member for Hinkler) with Paul Fletcher (Min. for Families and Social Services). Alistair Brightman

We're getting kids into jobs: Keith Pitt

PRIME Minister Scott Morrison has pledged if re-elected his government would generate 1.25million more jobs over the next five years.

Speaking in Brisbane, the PM said he was able to make the promise as part of the government's next stage of an economic plan.

Yesterday the NewsMail asked the government what the plan meant for a Bundaberg region crying out for employment opportunities.

In his response, Hinkler MP Keith Pitt said the government had reduced youth unemployment from 27 per cent in December 2017 to 20 per cent in November 2018 across the region.

He said he was confident they would be able to make further inroads.

Here is what he had to say:

 

A COMMITMENT to deliver 1.25 million jobs over the next five years is fantastic news for this region.

Why? Because the Coalition Government has demonstrated that we've achieved it once and we can do it again.

In 2013, we made a commitment to deliver one million jobs within five years which some believed couldn't be done.

Well, we did it, with 1.1 million jobs created within five years and that figure continues to climb.

There were more than 100,000 new jobs for young Australians between the ages of 15 and 24 in 2017-18. This is the highest number of jobs in a financial year on record.

In fact, locally, our youth unemployment rate has fallen from 27 per cent in December 2017 to 20 per cent in November 2018, which is still unacceptably high, but nevertheless, an improvement.

The overall unemployment rate has dropped to 8.5 per cent from 9 per cent in December 2017. We've built a stronger local economy and will continue to do so.

The five projects funded under the Regional Jobs and Investment Package - which includes Macadamias Australia's new processing facility and AustChilli's expansion - are worth $30.8 million and will bring 99 construction jobs and 333 ongoing jobs to the region. These projects are expected to begin this year.

The Building Better Regions Fund is boosting job creation in the region with $16.3 million invested in local projects - like the Pacific Tug marine industry precinct - in the first round alone, creating over 800 jobs in total. The second round will see upgrades to Mon Repos and the Royal Flying Doctor Service base redeveloped at Bundaberg Airport.

The Hinkler Regional Deal will bring all three levels of government together to create a plan for this region focused on creating long-term, sustainable jobs now and in the future. It really is a game changer for the people of this electorate.

We're backing small business - the backbone of many regional economies - with a boost to the instant asset write off from $20,000 to $25,000, as well as extending it until June 2020.

Unfortunately, our economic plan is being held up by the Palaszczuk State Labor Government, which refuses to do anything to reduce power prices and provide relief for businesses, seniors and families.

And the state Labor Government continues to ignore the $240 million Skilling Australians Fund which would create 50,000 apprenticeships in Queensland alone.

Despite these challenges, the local economy continues to grow and strengthen, and the result will be more jobs for this region.

See tomorrow's NewsMail where Labor candidate for Hinkler Richard Pascoe responds to Mr Pitt and outlines his party's plans.