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Jobs will be cut at QRA: Swan

Wayne Swan
Wayne Swan Chrissy Harris

FEDERAL Treasurer Wayne Swan has renewed his attack on the State Government claiming that the state budget included a secret plan to break up the Queensland Reconstruction Authority by year's end.

A press statement from Mr Swan's office said that 22 jobs were set to be cut from the authority - as detailed in the budget papers - leaving the number of staff working in the QRA at 101 for 2012-13.

State budget documents revealed that flood and cyclone reconstruction work would not be completed until June 2014 - however, funding could run out before then.

Mr Swan's attack also said projects including the Bruce Highway would be left hanging due to the budget cuts, despite the state allocating $1 billion to the highway over the next four years.

"It is worrying in the extreme that Premier Newman's deep service cuts have extended to what should be a no-go zone - the rebuilding of Queensland," Mr Swan said.

But a spokeswoman for the state government said no decision had been made about the future of the authority, but she could not provide a timeline on when the decision would be made.

Mr Swan, Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese, Health Minister Tanya Plibersek and Families Minister Jenny Macklin all attacked the State Government's job cuts during question time in Federal Parliament yesterday.

Labor has been trying to capitalise on the LNP's public service job cuts since the State Government handed down its budget last week.

Mr Swan started applying heat in late July, through a press statement that hit out at Mr Newman's comments that Queensland was the "Spain of Australia".

But the campaign has been taken up with gusto since budget leaks started more than two weeks ago.

On Sunday, Labor attempted to link the Queensland job cuts with the Federal Coalition's agenda, in the hope of clawing back some of the political capital lost in the sunshine state.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard told the Queensland party faithful that "Campbell Newman's budget razor is Abbott's curtain raiser", setting the scene for another week of attacks on the Newman Government.

Topics:  campbell newman, queensland budget 2012, queensland government, wayne swan


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