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Qld: Bligh says no guarantee of 100,000 jobs

By Gabrielle Dunlevy and Jessica Marszalek
16 Mar 2009 1:41 PM
Eds: Adds Springborg comment

TOOWOOMBA, Qld, March 16 AAP - Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has clarified her 100,000 jobs target, saying she cannot guarantee the jobs but will work hard to achieve them.

Ms Bligh announced the aim at Labor's official election campaign launch on Sunday.

Campaigning in Toowoomba, west of Brisbane, on Monday, Ms Bligh clarified the figure.

She acknowledged economic data had already forecast 88,000 new jobs to be created in Queensland over the next three years, but said a re-elected Labor government would aim to go further.

"I don't think that's (80,000) good enough," she said.

"I commit me and my government to go beyond that and create 100,000 jobs."

Ms Bligh said some of the jobs would be created in the private sector when the government invests in new industries like liquefied natural gas and solar energy.

She said some jobs would come by using federal government funds, and acknowledged she could not guarantee them.

"Every single waking moment as premier I will fight to deliver 100,000 new jobs," she said.

Treasurer Andrew Fraser said Queenslanders would be able to track the job creation by watching the monthly labour force statistics.

Mr Fraser defended criticism the jobs would have a negligible effect on the state's unemployment, which continues to rise with growing population and retrenchments, particularly in the resources sector.

"We expect that it would have a positive effect (on the jobless rate)," he said.

The 100,000 figure does not include the 190,000 jobs already created with the government's capital works program.

Liberal National Party (LNP) leader Lawrence Springborg, who pledged to create 10,000 new jobs through an infrastructure package at his campaign launch on Sunday, said voters should be wary of Ms Bligh's promise.

"This is what you expect from Labor governments, they're all smoke and mirrors and spin," he told reporters in Brisbane on Monday.

He said the government had not outlined where the money would come from to fund the new jobs and its raft of green announcements.

Mr Springborg said the government had not identified any savings, so the money could only come from increased taxes or more debt, neither of which Queensland could afford.

"Some people mightn't like what we've put forward, but we have been very honest from day one," he said.

"... We've always outlined the things that are achievable for Queensland."

AAP jmm/pjo/wf/apm