Queensland’s treasurer insists he has a jobs plan beyond the resources sector, as the state grapples with higher than national average unemployment.
Queensland’s treasurer says the state needs to manage the transition from a resources-led boom as unemployment hovers at 2003 levels.
The state’s jobless rate fell marginally to 6.7 per cent in August.
It was a drop from July’s 6.8 per cent figure, which was the highest since June 2003.
While 26,500 jobs were created in Queensland last month, the state’s unemployment rate is well above the national average of 6.1 per cent.
Treasurer Tim Nicholls says Queensland needs to focus on growing the economy outside the resources sector.
“What we’ve seen is a softening in the resources sector, as the price of coal has fallen and as our exchange rate stays high,” he told ABC Radio on Friday.
“This government does have a plan to focus on more than just the resources sector and to work hard to ensure there are other job opportunities for people in other areas other than just resources.”
The Liberal National Party promised at the 2012 election to reduce the unemployment rate to four per cent within its second term.
Mr Nicholls defended that target.
“People do want to know that the government has a plan and is working to a plan and a number,” he said.
“We understood it was a long target. It was going to take hard work.”
The government has also consistently nominated the resources sector as part of its four-pillar approach to growing the economy, along with construction, tourism and agriculture.
Labor’s shadow treasurer Curtis Pitt said he hoped Queensland wasn’t experiencing a structural decline in full-time jobs, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showing a drop of 8,000 such positions during the past year.
“Particularly as the mining sector slows down,” he said.