Amidst a global pandemic it’s fitting employment policies have been a major focus of Saturday’s Queensland State Election.
Read on for NIT’s wrap of the major parties’ policies and positions, including the Liberal National Party of Queensland (LNP), the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and the Queensland Greens.
Both Labor and the Queensland Greens support a transition to renewable energy with plans to run the state on 50 per cent and 100 per cent renewable energy respectively by 2030.
Queensland Greens plan to reach their target by building a publicly-owned renewable energy sector, with the establishment of a $2 billion fund to aid communities in creating cooperatively-owned renewable energy projects.
Labor will build renewable energy infrastructure including grid connections and will invest in research and development to provide schemes and incentives for the transition.
Labor also aims to establish a national emissions trading scheme, with the aim of reaching zero net carbon emissions in Queensland by 2050.
On the other hand, LNP supports the switch to renewable energy “when it makes economic sense to do so”.
Instead LNP aims to drought-proof Queensland by partnering with the CSIRO to deliver a $20 million investment into the New Bradfield Scheme, which is set to be the state’s biggest renewable energy project.
It aims to deliver water security, boost hydroelectric power and reduce carbon emissions, but no concrete aims have been specified.
Over 170,000 Queenslanders have lost their jobs since the beginning of March, so it’s no surprise employment policy is front and centre for all three major parties.
Queensland Greens has an abundance of employment promises, with the revival of Queensland jobs through a transition to renewable energy at the core of their policies.
The party’s four-year economic recovery plan will create 78,000 jobs per year from investment into public services and infrastructure. This includes reviving the manufacturing industry and investment into the public infrastructure, health and education sectors.
Queensland Greens will also invest in fire-fighting, with promises to hire 1,400 new full time equivalent paid firefighters. They also plan to invest $24 million over three years to create 200 new Indigenous Ranger positions to support better land management.
LNP has spoken of an “ambitious approach to job-creation” that begins with backing projects that create well-paying jobs for Queenslanders. The party has not outlined a detailed policy on how this will be achieved.
Labor has said it will implement policies that are “pro-jobs and reduce unemployment” without going into much further detail. The party aims to grow public service jobs, create jobs through renewable energy investment, prioritise skill development and assist unemployed Queenslanders in taking proactive measures that enable them to re-enter the workforce.
With the waiting list for social housing sitting at 39,000 people, the Queensland Greens have promised to aid the state’s housing crisis.
The establishment of a Queensland Housing Trust will finance the construction of 100,000 public homes over the next four years, with a long term target of 20 per cent of all housing stock as public housing.
Labor will establish a new community-based safe housing model of care, support and treatment for mental health patients transitioning back into the community.
They will also work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled health organisations to improve health promotion, which the ALP recognises includes increasing housing opportunities.
Unlike Queensland Greens, Labor has not outlined a detailed policy on how these measures will be achieved.
LNP has not outlined any specific housing measures.
Queensland Greens have set out to create a universal and free healthcare system in the state with aims to hire 6,500 more nurses, 3,000 more doctors and create an additional 21,000 hospital beds.
The party also has plans to establish 200 public health clinics and create the Queensland Public Pharmaceutical Company in a bid to make pharmaceuticals more accessible.
LNP has plans to refocus the public health system to better patient outcomes by slashing waiting times. They also plan to build four new rehabilitation and detox facilities to help tackle the ice epidemic with the help of awareness and targeted law enforcement.
Labor is dedicated to “continuing to restore harmony” to the health system. The party aims to investigate how early intervention screening tools can be more accessible for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and also believe voluntary euthanasia and assisted dying should be legally available to everyone of sound mind suffering a terminal illness.
Queensland Greens aim to fully fund state schools by investing an extra $5 billion over the next four years. They will also abolish all state school fees and excursion and textbook costs.
The party also plans to establish a universal, free healthy breakfast and lunch program in every state primary and secondary school in Queensland.
LNP aims to conduct a full-scale curriculum review in order to literacy and numeracy back at the forefront of learning. They will also reinstate Independent Public Schools and install air-conditioning in every public school classroom.
Labor is committed to improving accountability and transparency measures for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-specific funding and initiatives. They also aim to investigate options for expanding free TAFE and other free training programs.
Queensland Greens will impose a state-based bank levy in order to channel much-needed money back into the Queensland community. The levy is set to raise $4.7 billion over four years.
On a similar note, the party will also increase mining royalties to a flat 35 per cent which would raise an extra $14 billion each year for Queenslanders.
The Queensland election is on Saturday October 31.
By Imogen Kars