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Scott speaks in parliament about the state’s labour force figures.

It is always a pleasure to follow this Captain Risky of a Treasurer. He has a new name now: he is the ‘Treasurer for Alternative Facts’. We heard another one just then. He came out and talked about the NAB figures in terms of confidence. He did not mention the seasonally adjusted figures for confidence. He said they were up. In fact, the seasonally adjusted figures were down. That is the reality. He is the Treasurer for Alternative Facts because he tells Queenslanders all the time that the Labor Party is in and they have never had it so good. Tell that to the 13,700 Queenslanders who lost their jobs in December. Tell that to the 34,000 Queenslanders who lost their jobs over the last 12 months. Labor tells them they have never had it so good, but there were 34,000 jobs lost in the last 12 months. It is the worst result in Australia and this Treasurer for Alternative Facts tells them they have never had it so good.

Hansard Wednesday 15 February 2017

Mr EMERSON (Indooroopilly—LNP) (6.21 pm): It is always a pleasure to follow this Captain Risky of a Treasurer. He has a new name now: he is the ‘Treasurer for Alternative Facts’. We heard another one just then. He came out and talked about the NAB figures in terms of confidence. He did not mention the seasonally adjusted figures for confidence. He said they were up. In fact, the seasonally adjusted figures were down. That is the reality. He is the Treasurer for Alternative Facts because he tells Queenslanders all the time that the Labor Party is in and they have never had it so good. Tell that to the 13,700 Queenslanders who lost their jobs in December. Tell that to the 34,000 Queenslanders who lost their jobs over the last 12 months. Labor tells them they have never had it so good, but there were 34,000 jobs lost in the last 12 months. It is the worst result in Australia and this Treasurer for Alternative Facts tells them they have never had it so good.

It gets worse. When those figures came out—13,700 jobs lost in December, 34,000 jobs lost in the last 12 months—what did the government describe them as? In a media release they stated that these figures are reassuring. That shows the lack of compassion in Labor. That is the hypocrisy of Labor; they tell those people who have lost their jobs that these figures are reassuring. The government also states in its release about these figures that it is an encouraging sign—34,000 jobs lost is an encouraging sign; 13,700 jobs lost in December alone is an encouraging sign? That is how this government describes the worst job loss record in Australia. That is the reality.

Let us look at youth unemployment. Do not forget this is reassuring; this is an encouraging sign. In Townsville one in five young people cannot get a job, but Labor claims that is an encouraging sign, a reassuring figure. Townsville is not as bad as Cairns. In Cairns—in the back yard of the Treasurer for Alternative Facts—one in four cannot get a job. That is an encouraging sign, a reassuring number, apparently. That is not as bad as outback Queensland. In outback Queensland the youth unemployment rate is 34 per cent. One in three young people in outback Queensland cannot get a job and this Treasurer and this government describes that as an encouraging sign, a reassuring figure. That is the result and legacy of Labor. That shows their lack of compassion. Tell those parents whose kids cannot find jobs that that is an encouraging sign, a reassuring sign.

The employment minister says there is not much we can do about youth unemployment. These figures show those opposite have given up on youth unemployment. One in five people in Townsville, one in four people in Cairns and one in three people in outback Queensland cannot get a job. That is the reality. The employment minister claims on ABC Radio that the participation rate is going down and that is good news. She has no understanding about the participation rate. No wonder we have a government that is incapable of doing anything about unemployment. A government that says in its response to the worst job loss record in Australia that it is a reassuring sign, an encouraging sign, is a disgrace. Those opposite should be ashamed of their performance. Those opposite are not up to it. This Treasurer is not up to it. The reality is that this government is not up to solving the unemployment problem. Only the LNP will get Queenslanders back in work, back on track and back in business.