Sick state

QUEENSLAND has recorded the highest national number of working days lost in the last quarter, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

With 30,400 working days lost during the June quarter, Queensland has three times the rate of the second highest state, Victoria, which lost 11,000 days.

Deputy Opposition and LNP leader Lawrence Springborg says the figures represent the latest blow to Queensland’s economic credentials on top of rising unemployment and the loss of the state’s once cherished AAA credit rating.

“The very clear message to Bligh and Labor is they must get their eye back on the ball. A week of using parliament for puerile name-calling and taking time off to be a celebrity chef isn’t going to fix the economy; isn’t going to create a single job and isn’t going to save a single job,” says Springborg.

The former opposition leader says the 30,400 lost working days was the worst case of industrial disputes in Queensland since June 2000.

“Bligh and Labor have already slashed Queensland’s economic standing by ensuring we have the worst credit rating and debt of any state and now we find we have the worst industrial disputes record of any state,” says Springborg.

“Attracting interstate and international investment to Queensland to save and create jobs is becoming extremely difficult while Ms Bligh and Mr Fraser continue to preside over our economy.”

The Treasurer Andrew Fraser, says while the figures are high, they are the result of the recent teachers strike.

“The number of working days lost in the June Quarter is disproportional to Queensland’s otherwise comparative record,” says Fraser.

“In the March quarter, Queensland had a lower number of working days lost to industrial action then both NSW and Victoria — 2500 compared to 3400 and 4200 respectively. The spike in days lost in the June quarter reflects the culmination of the teachers’ wages debate, where a large proportion of Queensland teachers exercised their right to strike. This strike was a once-off occurrence, and involved up to 47,000 teachers.”

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