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Queensland to use coal-driven budget boost to create jobs in One Nation heartland

Joshua Robertson reports in The Guardian (12.12.16) on the Palaszczuk Government’s plan to spend a $1 billion budget windfall on regional jobs, in an apparent move to counter the rising One Nation vote outside of the south-east corner of the state.

‘The Queensland government is planning to use a windfall from rising coal royalties to boost jobs growth in regions thought to be fertile ground for One Nation.

‘The Palaszczuk government is expected to announce an economic stimulus package targeting areas that have not benefited from the state’s employment recovery, using a $1bn state budget boost driven by coal exports.

‘The treasurer, Curtis Pitt, will unveil the jobs and business package as part of a midyear fiscal and economic review to be released on Tuesday.

‘The premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, told the Courier-Mail that “while the Queensland unemployment rate is down, it is stubbornly high in a number of regions with the prolonged drought and mining downturn”.

‘Queensland’s unemployment rate recently fell to a three-year low of 5.8% but areas outside the south-east corner, including Townsville, remain among Australia’s worst jobless hotspots.’

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