Queensland’s bucket list plan to save jobs

 

Queenslanders are being urged to tick off items from their holiday-at-home bucket list, as the devastation of the COVID lockdown on jobs across the state is laid bare.

The state has recorded the highest unemployment in the country of 8.8 per cent after surging more than 1 percentage point since June.

Queenslanders have been urged to tick off their bucket-list holidays. Picture: @bubblemaker_baker & @riancope on Instagram
Queenslanders have been urged to tick off their bucket-list holidays. Picture: @bubblemaker_baker & @riancope on Instagram

One of the worst hit industries has been tourism where spending was all but wiped out in April and May, dropping 86 per cent or $2.7 billion in domestic travel in Queensland alone.

Another $726 million in international tourism was also stripped from the economy.

The collapsing tourism sector helped drive a further 34,800 Queenslanders onto the dole in June, according to the latest unemployment figures.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data released yesterday also showed Australia had passed the grim milestone of having more than one million people looking for work for the first time.

National unemployment rose slightly to 7.5 per cent, up from 7.4 per cent in June.

But Queensland's unemployment hit its highest level since 2001 with more than 234,000 people looking for work.

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash said 114,000 new jobs were created in the month but an increase in the participation rate had led to the rise in unemployment.

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash says jobs will return once the health crisis is under control. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Andrew Taylor
Employment Minister Michaelia Cash says jobs will return once the health crisis is under control. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Andrew Taylor

"That shows you that when you get the health crisis under control, then across Australia, you are able to ease restrictions, reopen your economy, you will see those jobs returning, and people being able to re-enter the workforce," she said.

Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said there were some positive signs for the industry with more people taking road trips and going to restaurants within Queensland but operators of tourist attractions had been left languishing.

"We want Australians to make the most of what our country has to offer by not just going on a road trip but by booking an experience as well, whether it be taking a surf lesson on the Gold Coast, a 4WD tour through the Daintree or a close encounter experience at Australia Zoo," he said.

Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch
Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch

"Not only will this provide them with the opportunity to perhaps try something new or tick off a bucket list activity, but it will go a long way in helping to support those operators and businesses that rely on the millions of international visitors who travel here each year to enjoy all of these experiences."

There were more than 4.3 million domestic visitors to Queensland across April and May last year who spent $3.2 billion. But this year that had dropped to just 1.1 million visitors spending just $450 million.

 

 

Originally published as Qld's bucket list plan to save jobs


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