Questions already over new LNP leader’s economic credentials

Queensland Unions have questioned the economic credentials of new LNP leader Deb Frecklington after her recent comments about jobless rates during the Bjelke-Petersen government years.

Queensland Council of Unions Assistant General Secretary Michael Clifford said Frecklington falls for the same trap of always thinking the LNP is better on the economy and employment when history and current policies show that isn’t the case.

The LNP leader’s misinformation comes in light of ABS jobless figures released today showing Queensland created 6,200 jobs last month, and 113,000 jobs in the year to November, and had the country’s best employment growth figures.

“Queenslanders returned a Labor government that had shown its commitment to jobs and restoring frontline services,” said Mr Clifford, “and these positive figures today vindicate the electorate’s decision to reject the outdated policies of the LNP.”

On Tuesday, the day Frecklington was elected Opposition leader, the Member for Nanango made this statement on ABC TV news, about her memory of the “Joh years”:

“Back in those times we didn’t have the second worst unemployment rate in all of Australia. We didn’t have one of the lowest business confidence rates in all of Australia. Back in those times we actually had, and were proud of the fact that the state was an economic powerhouse. We looked after our Agriculture industries. We looked after our resources industries. We made sure our kids were educated. And we made sure that everyone across Queensland had access to wonderful health services.”

“The LNP’s leadership answer to Newman, Springborg, Langbroek and Nicholls is off to a bad start, as the data shows that during the years that Joh and the Nationals governed Queensland in the 1980s, our jobless rate was consistently the worst or second-worst in Australia,” said Mr Clifford.

“The bottom line is that Ms Frecklington is simply wrong.  Queensland had a consistently higher unemployment rate than Australia throughout the 1980s (by as much as two percent) see graphs.

“In June 1987, the only state with a worse unemployment rate than Queensland (9.8 percent) was Tasmania (9.9 percent). In June 1986, Queensland recorded the country’s highest jobless rate!

“That’s not to mention Queensland’s suppression of civil liberties, outdated workplace health and safety legislation, and underperforming on education during the Joh years,” Mr Clifford said.

All data sourced from Australian Bureau of Statistics Labour Force figures.

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