Creating job opportunities
The Government supports the growth of businesses, industries and communities across the State. This Budget will directly support around 40,000 jobs while continuing to create more, and improve employment outcomes for all Queenslanders into the future.
Key Budget initiatives to drive jobs include the $42.75 billion four-year investment in capital works and productivity‑enhancing infrastructure, and significant additional funding for the Back to Work and Works for Queensland programs. These measures build on the Government’s many existing policies and programs, such as the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund and Building our Regions, driving jobs growth across the State, including in regional Queensland.
These measures will continue to grow a more innovative, diverse and productive economy, leading to more employment opportunities for all Queenslanders over the short, medium and long term.
Back to Work
Announced as part of the 2016-17 Budget, the Back to Work Regional Employment Package committed $100 million to provide businesses with the confidence to employ jobseekers in regional Queensland. The program focuses on disadvantaged jobseekers, in particular the long-term unemployed. A $20,000 Youth Boost payment is also available until 31 October 2017 to employers who hire a young jobseeker (15-24 years) in regional Queensland.
As at 31 May 2017, a total of 4,334 regional jobseekers have been employed across regional Queensland under the Back to Work program. This includes 2,200 young jobseekers employed under the Youth Boost. Total payments of more than $20.9 million have already been paid to these businesses.
In the Budget the Palaszczuk Government has committed a further $50 million to continue the availability of the existing Back to Work program in regional Queensland and $27.5 million to introduce support payments to South East Queensland to employers who take on a long-term or young unemployed jobseeker. Back to Work South East Queensland will be available from 1 July 2017.
Jobs and Regional Growth Fund
The Palaszczuk Government is committed to assisting areas that are doing it tough. The $130 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund is focused on generating economic development and employment opportunities in regional Queensland. Announced in the Mid Year Fiscal and Economic Review 2016-17 and opened in February 2017, the fund seeks to leverage investment and assist business to grow and expand in Queensland. Projects already approved under this fund will:
- support additional Indigenous employment – by providing assistance for Cape York Timber to secure a business loan to expand its operations in Cooktown
- advance Queensland’s biofutures sector – by supporting the construction of a large scale bio-refinery in Mackay. This will further diversify the region’s economy, while providing a peak of 70 construction jobs and 45 permanent operational jobs.
Capital works program
The Government will invest $42.75 billion through the State’s capital works program over the next four years. This program will support around 29,000 jobs in 2017-18, with the projects promoting long term economic and employment opportunities across Queensland.
Local jobs in local communities
The 2017-18 Budget provides an additional funding of $200 million over two years for the Works for Queensland program, supporting local governments outside South East Queensland that are facing unemployment issues to undertake job-creating maintenance and minor infrastructure works. This supplements the $200 million provided in the Mid Year Fiscal and Economic Review, bringing the Palaszczuk Government’s total Works for Queensland commitment to $400 million.
The $375 million Building our Regions program will continue, having already provided $156.2 million to 108 critical regional infrastructure projects. This investment has attracted a further $277.8 million investment from councils and other organisations and will support 1,323 jobs.