Labor leader Greg Hunt has defended the state’s $5 billion forestry processing budget and said the state should look to other industries for jobs as it moves forward.
Key points:Mr Hunt says the state must focus on the ‘long-term future of the timber industry’The Labor leader says the budget will help create more than 2,000 jobsThe Greens want a freeze on forestry processing in the stateThe Labor-run government said the budget would help create about 2,100 new jobs and build a more resilient economy.
But Mr Hunt said the decision to spend $5bn in the next budget was “unnecessary” and the state could focus on building on the “long-lasting future of timber processing”.
“The short-term budget is a budget for the long term,” he told ABC Radio in Canberra.
“It’s not about spending money in the short term and then spending money after a few months.”
This budget will allow us to invest in the long-term, the future, the growth of the state of Queensland.
“Mr Hunt said Labor would work with the Greens to build on the state government’s forestry budget.”
The Greens are proposing a freeze of forestry processing,” he said.”
That will help grow the economy, the employment opportunities and create more jobs in the industry.
“We’ve got to take the long view and see if we can’t rebuild this economy.”
Mr Timmer said the announcement would not mean a freeze in forestry processing, but would help to ensure that jobs were created.
“There are a lot of people in the timber business that are in limbo right now because of the budget, and there’s no certainty that we’ll get those jobs,” he says.
“If there’s a freeze, there’ll be more of those people who have been waiting to get those job opportunities.”
Mr Harris said the $5.7 billion budget was an appropriate allocation to ensure the state had enough money to build its infrastructure and the workforce to deal with the challenges of climate change.
“I believe that this is the right allocation of resources and we’re working on getting more money in to the economy,” he added.
“And I think this is also the right way to spend that money, because it’s not just for the next year, it’s for the future.”
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