Leaders’ minor disagreement ahead of ‘nasty’ campaign
Queenslanders have been implored not to waste their vote on a "disastrous" minority government as the LNP unveiled a new "win-at-all-costs" strategy ahead of Tuesday's campaign kick-off.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will visit Government House this morning to formally fire the starter's gun on the race for Queensland's first four-year term.
But neither leader lost any time on Monday as both launched scare campaigns around the prospect of a minority government off the back of support from the Greens, Clive Palmer, the Katters or Pauline Hanson.
Beginning the day in her Inala electorate on a visit to a Wacol Boeing factory to announce a new testing and manufacturing site for unmanned defence aircraft, Ms Palaszczuk predicted a "very personal and very nasty" fight.
She used the occasion to plead with voters to give her a majority government "so I can continue the work that we have been doing, that I have been doing, in keeping Queenslanders safe".
"I cannot be any clearer," she said.
Insisting she would not do any deals with minor parties or even independents, Ms Palaszczuk said "minority governments don't work", despite having led one after the 2015 election with the support of independent Peter Wellington.
"The question for Deb Frecklington is, is she going to form a government with the Katters, is she going to form a government with Palmer, is she going to form a government with One Nation?" Ms Palaszczuk said.
But Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington hit back, raising the prospect of a "jobs-destroying" Labor-Greens alliance as she toured New Hope's New Acland mine and promised that an incoming LNP government would immediately approve a mine expansion the company has been waiting 13 years for.
She pointed to Ms Palaszczuk's 2015 promise not to do deals before stitching up a deal with Mr Wellington as proof "you can't trust Labor".
"With every fibre of my being, I'm going to work hard to get the confidence of Queenslanders because they deserve a majority government," she said.
"The Labor-Greens alliance is an absolute nightmare for Queensland. The one thing I'll say about the Greens is at least they are upfront and honest with their job-destroying agenda."
But the dig at the LNP's political enemies did not stop Ms Frecklington announcing what she dubbed a "win-at-all-costs" strategy to preference Labor last in every seat - a move that will see the Greens placed ahead of the ALP on how-to-vote cards.
"Now make no mistake, this decision does not mean that there have been any deals, there will be no deals and it does not mean anything to do with those minor parties," she said, adding that no minor parties had approached the LNP. However, the move is not expected to affect results in any seats except South Brisbane, where former deputy premier Jackie Trad is fighting to hold on against a Greens onslaught.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles on Monday night seized on the announcement, insisting the "reckless preference decision from Deb Frecklington risks Queensland's balance of power being held by a ragtag coalition of Greens, Katter, One Nation and other MPs - the worst possible time for this sort of instability".
As both leaders identified jobs as their priority, Ms Palaszczuk also hammered home the health implications of the October 31 poll. "First and foremost, it's about keeping Queenslanders safe," she said.
"It's about saying to Queenslanders - you only have to look at what's happening around the globe, the rise of second waves of coronavirus now in Europe and of course in the US.
"My sole focus has been on looking after Queensland and keeping them safe. My second focus is on jobs - it's on jobs and job recovery. No one asked for this pandemic. No one expected it to have such a huge impact … and that is why we have our economic recovery plan, which is focused on getting Queenslanders back into work."
But Ms Frecklington said Labor had already cost 200 jobs at the New Acland mine because it would not grant environmental approvals due to ongoing court action.
"The issue that is before the High Court is on a legal technicality, it has got absolutely nothing to do with the environment," she said. "There is no reason why Annastacia Palaszczuk shouldn't have approved this mine. She has completely hoodwinked Queenslanders … and that is exactly why I am happy to stand here today and say a future LNP government will approve this mine."
It comes a day after One Nation and Katter's Australian Party announced they would likely issue split how-to-vote cards, where voters decided their own preferences.
Originally published as Leaders' minor disagreement ahead of 'nasty' campaign