Central Queensland the job creation ‘bright spot’: Pitt
TREASURER Curtis Pitt yesterday used Central Queensland as the pin-up region for job creation for the state as he addressed Queensland Parliament.
In what may come as a surprise to many struggling businesses in the Rockhampton and Livingstone regions, Mr Pitt lauded the Fitzroy region (CQ) as a job creation bright spot.
"Employment in Rockhampton is currently 5.8%, down 0.3 percentage points from a year earlier," he said to the parliament.
"This compares to the rest of the state on average, which rose from 6% to 6.5% over the same time period."
Mr Pitt held an employment forum when he was in Rockhampton for the Community Cabinet last month and said it was good to talk directly to community and business leaders.
"Hearing their views and ideas helped me gain a greater appreciation and understanding of where the government's efforts can be best focused."
However when The Morning Bulletin approached his office for more detail on these issues we were advised a response was not possible yesterday given his busy parliamentary schedule.
While Mr Pitt painted a positive picture of job growth in CQ, there were mixed reactions from the local business community on how they were coping.
Gracemere Hotel co-owner Gavin Pitts said his business was on par with last year, and hadn't seen a growth or decline in trading.
Willow and Ivy owner Georgina Marshall said her clothing business had seen uneven trade while witnessing the closure of several local businesses lately.
Webber's Retravision owner Doug Webber said life had been tough in the retail sector but he believed there was over-supply of outlets in some areas such as white goods.
Recent businesses closing their doors include the Heritage Hotel and the Leading Edge Telecoms franchises in Central Queensland in January.
One of the larger employers in the district, Hastings Deering, is expected to shed more jobs at its CQ operations but is yet to say how many.
Meanwhile, the upside includes several projects creating jobs in the region, including the Parkhurst Town Centre beginning construction (200 jobs) in August, Rockhampton region McDonald's franchises have created 150 positions and a $4million quarry at Bajool will see 10 jobs created, while 1500 jobs for the GKI revitalisation remains uncertain.