What Treasurer can’t see from her ivory tower


I BARELY recognised the state that Jackie Trad described when she handed down her Budget.

According to her, Queensland is a land of plenty with jobs galore and debt firmly under control.

I think Jackie Trad needs to get out of her South Brisbane electorate more often.

The truth is that much of Queensland is hurting badly.

Unemployment is far above the national average, with a jobs crisis across regional Queensland and much of the southeast.

Growth is stalling, and barely one in 10 businesses in the southeast are optimistic about the future.

Construction work has collapsed to a 13-year low. Business confidence is at rock-bottom.

Almost 160,000 Queenslanders are looking for work.

Many more have no idea how they will pay their bills or provide for their kids.

After five years in power, all Labor is delivering is higher taxes, more debt, less jobs and less infrastructure.

In just two Budgets, Jackie Trad has piled almost $3.5 billion of new taxes on to Queenslanders.

These taxes have hit motorists, miners, punters, small businesses and homeowners.

The single biggest tax - the waste tax - will smash thousands of small businesses again.

But the construction industry will be hardest hit, with tradies paying an extra $100 every time they take a ute-load to the dump.

Every dollar Labor takes hurts the economy and destroys jobs.

Nowhere has ever taxed its way to prosperity.

Despite this tax grab, Queensland is spending a smaller share of its revenue on infrastructure than every other state.

When Labor does spend, it's mostly in South Brisbane - the site of Cross River Rail.

The regions' infrastructure needs have been ignored.

At the same time, Labor has gone to war with the resources industry that Central and North Queensland counts on for new jobs.

The regions have been ripped off twice over by Annastacia Palaszczuk.

Labor is anti-resources, anti-regions and anti-jobs.

And while Labor pursues its job-destroying agenda, debt is soaring to $90 billion.

Palaszczuk and Trad will be long gone by the time our kids and grandkids have to settle Labor's debt.

We can't afford to go on like this. We can't afford Labor, full stop.

Unlike Labor, the LNP has already outlined a plan to get our economy back on track.

I'll be adding to that plan in Parliament tomorrow.

There is a path out of Labor's mess - but the Palaszczuk Government must be sent packing before we can take it.

Deb Frecklington is Queensland Opposition Leader