DESPITE changes in the LNP’s leadership nothing has changed. We have seen in the short time since Tim Nicholls became Opposition Leader, the LNP still taking every opportunity to talk down the overall strength of the Queensland economy. The LNP is well and truly under old management. Mr Nicholls is a former treasurer who presided over the LNP’s mass sackings and cuts to frontline services that devastated business confidence and wreaked havoc on our local, regional and state economies. These savage cuts by the LNP – including the sacking of 14,000 government workers in Mr Nicholls’s first State Budget in 2012 – were felt especially hard in regional communities across our state. He was the only treasurer in the past 30 years to preside over a drop in full-time jobs in Queensland – a total of 12,000 full-time jobs lost on his watch or 80 lost every week. Queensland’s average growth during his time as treasurer was 1.6% – the worst performance of any government in the past 30 years – it was self–inflicted economic mismanagement and even worse than the performance of Labor faced with the GFC and catastrophic floods and cyclones in 2010 and 2011. By contrast we are on track for growth of around 4% this year and we have created 61,300 jobs in little more than a year – including 27,500 full-time jobs. Business confidence is the highest in nation for the 10th month in a row according to the respected National Australia Bank’s survey. Mr Nicholls as treasurer and all other LNP Ministers talked down our state’s economic and financial performance in a bid to scare voters into accepting asset sales. As LNP Leader he is doing exactly the same – he has learnt nothing and ignored voters. As treasurer he said Queenslanders had only three choices – asset sales, higher taxes and charges, or more cuts to jobs and services. His failure to identify any fourth option makes it clear that asset sales remain the LNP’s one-point plan for Queensland. Nothing has changed.
Curtis Pitt Treasurer of Queensland