BAY VISIT: Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls visits Hervey Bay to announce a slew of new projects with Hervey Bay MP Ted Sorensen.
BAY VISIT: Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls visits Hervey Bay to announce a slew of new projects with Hervey Bay MP Ted Sorensen. Blake Antrobus

'He's a failed ice-cream salesman': Nicholls, Saunders clash

IN THE seven hours he was in Hervey Bay, Tim Nicholls pledged $1 million for a new VMR vessel, $2 million to air-condition the city's schools and managed a Melbourne Cup punt at Hervey Bay Boat Club.

The Fraser Coast pit-stop is part of a whirlwind tour of regional Queensland for the State Opposition Leader, who has just 17 days to prove he should be the next Premier.

Sitting down with the Chronicle, Mr Nicholls outlined his vision for the Fraser Coast, which included improving education standards for the region's schools.

"We want to work to raise standards in the schools... we'll be making some announcements in relation to those sorts of things over the course of the campaign," Mr Nicholls said.

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But the LNP's presence in the region attracted some harsh words from the Heritage City's MP Bruce Saunders who called on Mr Nicholls to "publicly apologise to the people of Maryborough for sending our jobs overseas".

"If Mr Nicholls fails to apologise then I am putting him on notice he is not welcome in Maryborough," Mr Saunders said.

Mr Saunders claimed Mr Nicholls chose Indian jobs for a Downer Rail contract over Maryborough while he was Treasurer for the Newman government.

In response, Mr Nicholls dismissed the Maryborough MP as "a failed ice-cream salesman".

"The day that anyone takes any serious notice of Bruce Saunders will be the day Queensland comes to a screaming halt," Mr Nicholls said.

"No one listens to thugs, bullies and union hacks."

Mr Nicholls said it was Downer EDI who pulled out of the contract under the Palaszczuk government.

"They did not submit into the contract to build the next generation of rolling stock, and it's under Labor," he said.

"Bruce Saunders has indicated this, that the foul-up in relation to delivery of the rolling stock has occurred, including the inability to deliver enough drivers to ensure the Commonwealth Games goes ahead without a hitch."



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