Queensland leaders Annastacia Palaszczuk and Deb Frecklington formally launch their 2020 election campaigns - ABC News

 proxy.yoo.workers.dev  10/18/2020 04:13:55 

With just under two weeks left until election day, and early voting opening tomorrow, Queensland's Labor and LNP leaders have formally launched their election campaigns.

  • Labor announced what it called "the biggest investment in teachers in Queensland's history"
  • The LNP says it will release its full budget within 100 days of office if elected
  • Jobs and the state's border status are at the centre of the election campaign

Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made her pitch at the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre in Beenleigh, focusing on jobs and her Government's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Across Brisbane, Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington launched the LNP's election campaign at the Emporium Hotel in South Bank, emphasising the state's unemployment rate.

Sunday's launches served as one of the final opportunities for the Premier and Opposition Leader to make their pitch to Queenslanders before they head to pre-polling booths for early voting on Monday.

Labor to legalise voluntary assisted dying

Ms Palaszczuk promised major new investments in the health and education sectors, including the introduction of voluntary assisted dying legislation.

After draft legislation was deferred in May, the Premier today announced her commitment to legalise voluntary assisted dying if her Government was re-elected.

"I believe families should be empowered to consider all the options available," Ms Palaszczuk told a crowd of rusted-on Labor voters.

"That's why today I can commit that the government I lead will introduce legislation in February next year to provide for the legalisation of voluntary assisted dying."

Ms Palaszczuk emphasised her party's response to the pandemic, attributing the "secured health of the economy" to her tough border measures.

"The success of Queensland's COVID-19 health response is widely recognised," she said.

A woman in a red blazer speaks at a podium.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk speaks at the Queensland Labor election campaign launch.(AAP: Glenn Hunt)

Among an array of new funding commitments, the Premier announced plans to add 7,775 jobs to frontline health services and invest $889 million in public hospital upgrades.

The Premier also pledged a $171 million palliative care plan and promised to invest in "more nurses, resources and care for families confronting these profoundly complex journeys."

'The biggest investment in teachers in Qld's history'

For the education sector, the Premier promised 6,100 new teachers and 1,100 teacher aides, describing it as "the single biggest investment in teachers in Queensland's history".

Labor pledged $100 million to put trained psychologists and guidance officers in schools, and a pilot program which would place general practitioners in schools across the state.

The Premier also expanded the free TAFE and apprenticeships program, pledging to provide Certificate 3 TAFE courses in 26 priority skills areas.

Under a Labor government, courses in agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, and early childhood education, will all be "100 per cent free of charge" for Queenslanders under the age of 25.

Free apprenticeships will be provided in the aviation, electrical and automotive sectors.

For the resources sector, the Premier reiterated her plan to have Queenslanders building Queensland trains. She announced an additional $40 million to deliver new hubs in advanced manufacturing.

Acknowledging the pressure and criticism she has faced over her tough border measures, the Premier said the Opposition had pressured her to open the borders 64 times.

"In this job, in moments of crisis, you don't get a dress rehearsal," she said.

"You don't get the luxury of making the wrong decision once, let alone 64 times."

The Premier walked off stage as the Tom Petty song I Won't Back Down played.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles also referred to criticism of Labor's border stance in his speech.

"Even when it felt like everyone was ganged up against us  the Prime Minister, Peter Dutton, Clive Palmer, Pauline Hanson, the LNP  every single one of them ganged up against us, but Annastacia Palaszczuk stood strong," he said.

'An election like no other in living memory'

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington's launch reiterated the LNP's previously announced big-ticket items.

These include the $1.1 billion stimulus in the form of a $300 registration rebate for Queensland drivers, the New Bradfield Scheme and plans to make the Bruce Highway four lanes.

Ms Frecklington promised a full budget would be delivered within 100 days of office, should her party win the election.

"The LNP's plan is very clear and is fully costed," she said.

A woman in a blue blazer smiles at a microphone with "LNP" sign behind her.
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said Queensland's economy was in trouble "long before COVID".(ABC News: Lucas Hill)

She thanked the Federal Liberal Government for its assistance in funding the planned M1 upgrade.

"We will also work with the Morrison Government to reach a $33 billion funding agreement," she said.

Ms Frecklington spoke about the New Bradfield Scheme, which includes plans to build "Australia's largest dam".

A computer model of the dam was played to party faithfuls in a video, which detailed its capacity would be enough to fill 28 Sydney Harbours and power 800,000 homes.

Both Ms Frecklington and LNP deputy leader Tim Mander criticised Queensland's unemployment rate, with Mr Mander calling it "very disturbing news."

"We have the worst unemployment rate in the nation because we have the worst State Government in the nation."

Ms Frecklington emphasised the LNP's 5 per cent unemployment rate target.

She said the Queensland economy was "in trouble long before COVID".

She said if elected, her party would implement four key foundations: "Investing for growth, unleashing the potential of Queensland industry, supercharging regional Queensland, and  very importantly  securing our children's future."

Major infrastructure projects in the Galilee Basin and the New Hope New Acland mine were also mentioned, along with the party's pledge not to raise taxes.

"The LNP's no new tax guarantee will help our economy grow again," she said.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton attended the LNP's launch, alongside former premier Rob Borbidge and previous LNP leader Tim Nicholls.

Speaking after the launch, Mr Nicholls told the media this was "an election like no other in living memory."

Sunday's events came as Queensland recorded zero new coronavirus cases, leaving four active cases.

« Go back