Regional worker shortage Attracting workers to regional Queensland remains a challenge to overcome

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GIVEN our capital cities are already bursting at the seams, a strategy is desperately needed to lure more people out to the regions to work.

According to figure released by the Regional Australia Institute (RAI), regional Queensland has the highest proportion of regional job vacancies in Australia – one third.

RAI’s co-CEO Liz Ritchie said there were more than 13,000 jobs advertised in August in regional Queensland.

“Regional Australia has many job opportunities, and we know many communities are working locally to come up with solutions to fill these roles,” Ms Ritchie said.

“Across the six areas in regional Queensland, there were more than 3,200 professional jobs on offer.

“These roles include doctors, nurses, finance workers, human resource managers, engineers, educational professionals, sales and marketing managers, and media representatives.”

In CQ, the top three job vacancies were professionals followed by technicians and trades workers and labourers.

Rockhampton MP Barry O’Rourke said his government was bringing jobs to the regions, pointing to a more than nine per cent rise in public service jobs since being elected.

“The number of people employed by the state government in CQ on a full-time equivalent basis has risen from 9,160 to 10,014 since 2015,” Mr O’Rourke said.

“That is more teachers, more nurses and more police officers in our community.”

Mr O’Rourke said he would continue to advocate for decentralisation and has lobbied strongly for the creation of the Office for Rural and Regional Queensland and to have at least part of its operations based here. He claimed the Federal Government had only delivered 20 positions across regional Queensland this year.

“I hope Michelle Landry and Matt Canavan will also start to push harder to create more Federal Government positions locally. They should be matching the State Government on this.”

Ms Landry responded saying her government had a decentralisation agenda with over 1,700 jobs shifted from the inner city to regional centres.

“I continue to advocate for more of these to be placed in CQ,” she said.

“Mr O’Rourke gloats over a 2.3% year-on-year increase in the public service but CQ locals find his rhetoric difficult to comprehend because our services are disappearing before our eyes.

Ms Landry said job creation was about more than hiring public servants, it relies on delivering the infrastructure and the economic opportunity for business. She listed a number of upcoming projects for the region which promised to create thousands of jobs.

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