The Palaszczuk Government will use $155 million of taxpayer’s money to extend its failed ‘Back to Work’ program, which has not addressed high unemployment in Queensland’s regions.

Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, said despite high levels of funding, Labor’s program was not doing anything to reduce high rates of youth unemployment in regional areas of Queensland.

Mr Cripps said unemployment in the Townsville and North Queensland region remained high at 11 per cent, while the recent youth unemployment figures were getting worse, hitting 22 per cent.

“Yet the Palaszczuk Government is now promising to extend this taxpayer-funded program which has failed to reduce unemployment – it’s clear that Labor has run out of ideas” said Mr Cripps.

“This is just a re-hashed announcement of an existing program and with youth unemployment reaching serious levels in several of Queensland’s regions, we deserve much better” he said.

“Promising to spend another $155 million of taxpayers money on a program that isn’t working is not a positive announcement, it’s a recipe for more failure and increased debt under Labor”.

“Queenslanders, especially North Queenslanders, certainly want to hear about initiatives that will create and support real jobs, but they can’t afford to be served up the same old failed policies”.

Mr Cripps said in contrast, the LNP had already announced its ‘Get Queensland Working’ policy, which includes targeted support for small businesses and employees leading to real jobs.

“Our policy includes the Queensland Apprenticeship Boost providing a $5000 incentive for Queensland businesses who take on a new apprentice for the duration of their trade training”.

“It includes a $500 Tools for Tradies voucher for tradies who complete their apprenticeship and

$4,000 Job Start Incentive grants for small businesses to employ Queenslanders under 24”.

 “Finally, the Employment Bonus initiative is a Workcover premium discount for businesses that employ Apprenticeship Boost and Job Start Incentive participants for more than 12 months”.

Mr Cripps said the LNP’s policy brought together a range of innovative ideas to encourage businesses to employ more Queenslanders – especially young Queenslanders – in a real job.


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