Topics:  government, job losses, maryborough, unions

Maryborough industry and government are shedding jobs

MARYBOROUGH has shed dozens of jobs since the Newman government was elected in March.

Estimates from unions and industry leaders suggest hundreds of jobs could go before the situation settles down.

It remains difficult to pull together the fragmented information about job losses from all the sectors but the impact has been profound.

Although the State Government's move to cut 14,000 jobs from the Queensland public service has attracted flak, the deeper flaws in regional employment may lie in the city's manufacturing sector.

In recognition of this, Maryborough's civic leaders have urged business to innovate and diversify.

Federal MP Warren Truss labelled the job cuts by manufacturers Downer EDi and CQMS Razer a real blow to the Maryborough community.

"It has been a very long time since confidence was this low," he said.

"We need to consider new ideas that will kick start the local economy and create lasting, secure jobs," he said.

He said all levels of government needed to work together to build the region.

Downer EDi and CQMS Razer have shed close to 90 jobs between them in recent months and more job losses are expected to hit in the New Year.

About 50 jobs have also been lost across nine State Government departments in Maryborough.

These include Queensland Health, Queensland Fire and Rescue, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, QBuild and Wide Bay Linen.

Ergon Energy will also shed roles from its Maryborough workforce, however the exact number of redundancies remains unknown.

Maryborough Chamber of Commerce President Paul Smith echoed Mr Truss's concerns over the manufacturing industry.

"It is great as a foundation but we really need to expand our horizons a bit," he said.

"We are centrally located and we do have the potential to do a lot of things."

Mr Smith said the area was isolated due to poor roads and digital infrastructure, but had increasing support to address economic growth.

Maryborough state MP Anne Maddern said agriculture was a strength that could be grown, alongside tourism, education and education.

"I certainly don't believe that we should give up on our manufacturing sector, but we will need to look to alternative uses of our skills base rather than rely on traditional uses," she said.

On a broader view of the region, the Fraser Coast Council is preparing to pare away up to 30 positions when it brings Wide Bay Water under its control.



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