THE BIG ISSUE: Pollies clash over Bundy job figures
TWO politicians contradict the other's facts and places blame on how they should spend our money.
That's hardly news, it happens daily, but the key difference here is that this is a political battle to control the narrative about Bundaberg's recent unemployment rate.
Yesterday in Bundaberg, State Development minister Cameron Dick promoted the increase of jobs to the region, while elsewhere, Opposition leader Deb Frecklington criticised job losses.
Ms Frecklington painted a picture of a dire local economy under her political rivals by numbering 1500 job losses across the Wide Bay Region over the last year.
She further criticised the State Government of not being able to give Bundaberg businesses any certainty by prioritising the needs in the region.
State Development minister Cameron Dick promoted 1100 jobs that had increased in the region since last April.
He visited Bundaberg Brewed Drinks yesterday to announce $575,800 in funding, which would be worth 40 new jobs for the local company, but he responded to Ms Frecklington's comments about local job losses.
"Her budget reply last week wasn't a budget reply, it was a letter to Santa," Mr Dick said.
"She has got $5 billion in commitments and she hasn't said how she's going to fund it.
"The people of Bundaberg and this region need to ask what teachers, doctors and nurses are going to be cut from this part of Qld."
Mr Dick said that the Opposition leader might have visited Bundaberg, but that she had not promised anything to help the city.
"That's because the LNP has taken this region for granted for many, many years," Mr Dick said.
"We have got significant capital investment coming into the region that will support more jobs."
Ms Frecklington said that Bundaberg's local businesses were frustrated at nine taxes that the State Government introduced or increased the amount of.
"What we also heard is local businesses are wanting more local content in government contracts.
"That is something that is not happening in the Palaszczuk Government, and there is much angst in the room around it."
She said Bundaberg businesses needed to know that the State Government prioritised the region.
"Let's look at a priority that (Premier) Annastacia Palaszczuk has placed on the Wide Bay.
"It has been at the bottom of her list."
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has shown an increase of 1000 employed people in Wide Bay in 12 months ending in March.