Adani not the only jobs magnet: Shorten

OPPOSITION leader Bill Shorten has cautioned Townsville residents against Adani's "silver bullet solutions".

Mr Shorten made the comments during a major jobs announcement in North Queensland, in which he promised 200 new permanent full time public service jobs for Townsville if his government was elected, on the final day of his 'Bill Bus' tour.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten said Townsville needed to rely on other industries. Picture” Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian
Opposition leader Bill Shorten said Townsville needed to rely on other industries. Picture” Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian


"Townsville doesn't need that lecture from me though … just look at Clive Palmer and QNI," Mr Shorten said.

"What Labor is doing is we aren't relying on the economy being a one trick economy."

Mr Shorten conceded that Townsville does rely on mining but said it also had opportunities in other sectors.

"Tourism opportunities, defence is very important, health services are very important here, the water industry is going to become very important here, as is energy."

"I make no apology for wanting to prepare Australia for the future rather than pretending we can live in the past. I want a modern economy."

 

Opposition leader Bill Shorten with the ‘Bill Bus’, on its way to Townsville, at Ayr. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian
Opposition leader Bill Shorten with the ‘Bill Bus’, on its way to Townsville, at Ayr. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian


Mr Shorten said the 200 Department of Health Services jobs will help to ease the city's 8.8 per cent unemployment rate.

The local service delivery and call centre positions were estimated to inject $14.4 million into the Townsville economy each year.

"There is no doubt that we need Department of Human Services jobs and we need those jobs I believe in the centre of town," Mr Shorten said.

"That's the secret of Labor's plan for North Queensland and indeed regional Queensland and Australia. We want to use important but scarce taxpayer's money to help create jobs jobs jobs, secure jobs."

Herbert MP Cathy O’Toole said Townsville’s unemployment was almost double the national average.
Herbert MP Cathy O’Toole said Townsville’s unemployment was almost double the national average.


Herbert MP Cathy O'Toole backed the move, as around 10,400 Townsville residents look for work.

"Our unemployment rate is almost double the national average and higher than the state average," Ms O'Toole said.

"This is clear evidence that Labor is committed to regional Queensland and particularly to Townsville," she said.

Shadow Minister for Human Services Ed Husic hit out at the federal government and said it was their outsourcing of staff from Department of Human Services and Centrelink that left the system in crisis.

"The contrast couldn't be clearer. You look at what we are offering versus what the coalition has been doing during the last few years. Job cuts, you see complaints going through the roof," Mr Husic said.

"The people who lost their jobs, 80 of them in Department of Human Services, care very much about the fact they don't have a pay check to be able to take home to meet their mortgage."



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