DOWN TO BUSINESS: Annastacia Palaszczuk meets employee Jamie Costin during her tour of Claypave yesterday.
DOWN TO BUSINESS: Annastacia Palaszczuk meets employee Jamie Costin during her tour of Claypave yesterday. Inga Williams

Jobs focus for Palaszczuk during visit to Ipswich

LABOR'S focus was on jobs yesterday as Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk took her campaign bus to Ipswich, launching a business development fund at New Chum business Claypave.

Using the international exporter as a backdrop, Ms Palaszczuk told media the Business Development Fund would help innovative Queensland companies turn ideas into new products and new jobs without the need for asset sales.

The $40 million plan, over four years, would offer a maximum $250,000 grant helping small to medium-sized businesses create employment opportunities.

"Labor's new Business Development Fund will help start-up firms develop their ideas, take them to market, and create jobs," she said.

"It will help create the jobs of the future in sectors like agriculture, biotechnology, manufacturing and digital technologies."

She said hard decisions needed to be made about creating jobs.

"Unemployment here in Ipswich is 9%. Youth unemployment is 18%. This is simply not good enough.

"Claypave exports to markets right across the world. Through innovation we can create jobs. We can turn these ideas into commercial reality. I am focussed on jobs, creating jobs.

Ms Palaszczuk said the new fund was another element in Labor's overall jobs package.

"Proof of the failure and broken promises of the Newman LNP Government on job creation is provided every month when ABS jobless figures are released and will be highlighted yet again this Thursday," she said.

"The new fund will be managed by a joint-venture partner to leverage private sector investment and ensure innovative Queensland businesses have access to the start-up capital they need to tap new opportunities in emerging markets.

"New products mean new jobs, new business opportunities, and potential new export income for Queensland industry. But In 2013 Australian venture-capital funds invested only $79 million in 97 seed, start-up, and other early-stage deals.

We are falling behind other nations in developing emerging industries and I want to turn this around in Queensland by making investments that lead to new and secure jobs."

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