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Be aggressive: How state will use $350 million fund to lure more private sector jobs

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Ahead of the state budget, Deputy Premier Steven Miles and Treasurer Cameron Dick have told their departments to use taxpayer funds to create private sector jobs.

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The $350 million Industry Partnership Program is the new component in a rebadged $1.84 billion Queensland Jobs Fund announced by the government at the Labor state conference at the weekend.

The program is designed to attract companies to Queensland or provide funds to support their expansion in the state. It comes after Dick last year put up public funds to save Virgin Australia and keep Qantas heavy maintenance in Queensland.

The first beneficiary of the new program is the Translational Research Institute, which will take $20 million towards the $60 million cost of launching a Translational Manufacturing Institute. That will allow more potential vaccines and therapies to be made and trialled in Queensland.

While Miles expected the TMI to create 500 new jobs over 10 years, he said the program could create thousands of jobs overall.

Departments have been told to review existing plans and strategies to do whatever possible to keep and attract businesses, with a view to creating more jobs for Queenslanders.

“We want them to be aggressive, to compete with other states and other nations,” Miles said.

“We can grow our established industries as well as create jobs in the new industries of the future.”

Dick will hand down the state budget next week and said the fund would be “turbocharging our economic recovery”.

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