Premier talks up Qld's economic prospects
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BRISBANE, Jan 21 AAP
January 21 2013, 1:58PM
A new report shows Queensland is on the road to economic recovery and 2013 will be a year of growth, Premier Campbell Newman says.
The CommSec State of the States report shows that while Queensland is strong on construction work and engineering investment, a sluggish labour market is constraining the state's economy.
It ranked Queensland's economy as the fourth best in the nation, in terms of growth.
But unemployment in the state is 23.1 per cent above its decade average, the report found.
At the weekend, Treasurer Tim Nicholls said Queensland's jobless rate - 6.2 per cent for December - was "not acceptable".
On Monday, Mr Newman was talking up what his government was doing for jobs, after last year slashing 14,000 public sector positions.
"We are working hard to make sure we create jobs in Queensland and the things we are seeing in that Commsec report demonstrate the green shoots of recovery are there," he told reporters.
Mr Newman said the fourth spot ranking for Queensland on growth was an improvement.
"Queensland during 2011 was always in last place (in Commsec report)," he said.
"Now we are in the middle of the pack.
"In five out of eight indicators we are doing very very well."
The premier said there was an upswing in property investments and business confidence was growing, and "2013 is going to be a great year".
He said the state would be in a fiscal surplus in two years time for the first time in nine years and in a position to look at claiming back its AAA credit rating.
Mr Newman played down a new report by the Queensland Resources Council, which said at least 1000 more mining jobs were likely to go from the coal industry.
"There will be ups and downs in different sectors."
Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said despite Mr Newman's promise to deliver an unemployment rate around four per cent the figure was increasing.
"Whilst some of the results are positive in the CommSec report, it is very concerning about the massive impact his policies are having on the high unemployment rate," she told reporters in Brisbane.
"That's directly from the sacking of people throughout the public service, but also there's flow-on effects in rural and regional areas not just in the cities.
"And you'll actually see some of these people leave Queensland altogether."