ELECTION: Jobs set to be focus of Wide Bay battle
WITH an election battle on the horizon, one of the main focuses in the Wide Bay electorate will be on who has the best plan to bring jobs to the region.
Jason Scanes, an ex-army captain and former CEO of the Maryborough RSL was this week announced as the Labor candidate for the upcoming election, which will most likely be held in May.
He will go head to head with the LNP's Llew O'Brien.
Mr Scanes said the Wide Bay had an unemployment rate that was twice the national average and it needed to be addressed urgently.
The father of three, who intends to set up mobile offices throughout the electorate, said the first step was investing in education services.
"Making sure we can keep younger people here, get them qualified and trained and get them back out into the workforce," he said.
He said the region needed to make itself an attractive option for big businesses looking to set up new enterprises.
"People want change, they need change. People have the opportunity in this election to make the change."
Mr O'Brien said his focus had been on job creation since he was elected.
"I'm taking a comprehensive approach to strengthen Wide Bay's economy through new infrastructure investments, co-investing with business, and delivering a range of employment programs to give people skills and employers incentives, all to help people into work," he said.
The incumbent member said he would continue to work with businesses and the community to identify projects that would create jobs.
"In Maryborough, I've announced $28.5 million from the Liberal Nationals Government to co-invest in the $60 million Nioa Rheinmetall project to establish a new defence industry that will create more than 100 jobs.
"I've also announced a $1.75 million co-investment with Dale & Meyers timber to increase production and create more jobs.
"The government has also committed $1 million to Wide Bay Burnett Regional Development Australia to deliver local employment initiatives that are tailored to our region.