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PM’s pitch to voters on Qld polling day

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has made a polling day pitch to Queenslanders to vote for the sake of Australia, not just their state.

The incumbent Labor government and aspirant Liberal National Party are offering two different visions on Saturday when leaders are expected to visit booths in marginal seats.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is on the hustings in Brisbane, while Liberal National Party leader Deb Frecklington is hitting Townsville, then voting in her southeast seat of Nanango, before heading to the state capital.

In a clear swipe at Labor’s lengthy Queensland COVID-19 border closure, Mr Morrison says Australia needs the sunshine state’s help.

“We can’t afford to keep Queensland in neutral, we need to be able to move ahead,” he said in a social media message posted on Saturday.

“Australia needs Queensland to return to the powerhouse state it once was.”

Queensland will open the border to regional NSW on Tuesday but Sydney and Victoria remain banned.

The prime minister said Ms Frecklington has a better plan to lead Queensland’s economic recovery.

“For Australia to win, Queensland needs to win,” he added.

Ms Palaszczuk has campaigned on her health response to COVID-19 and her $11 billion in stimulus to boost the economy.

She warned against changing the government and risking the progress the state has made this year.

“It’s probably the most important election Queenslanders have ever had to face and it’s a very clear choice,” the premier told AAP.

“Now is not the time to risk the LNP, we have been on a clear path this year – we’ve managed the health crisis, we are on the road to economic recovery.

Labor is offering to employ thousands more teachers, doctors, nurses and police and make TAFE free for all students under the age of 25.

The government has promised billions of dollars to upgrade schools, roads and hospitals, as well as loans to businesses doing it tough.

Ms Frecklington has been making the case for change, pointing to Labor’s record before the pandemic.

The opposition is promising a $300 car registration refund and a subsidy to reduce electricity costs for business.

The LNP will also upgrade hospitals and roads, fund a tropical fish accelerator and install ship lifts in three ports.

Down the track they want to upgrade major roads, including widening 1450km of the Bruce Highway from two to four lanes.

Ms Frecklington has also promised to build the New Bradfield irrigation and hydropower project.

“Labor has dragged Queensland to the bottom of Australia’s economic ladder and we’ll stay there as long as Labor is in power,” the LNP leader told AAP.

“Labor has no plan for economic recovery but the LNP does.

“The LNP’s plan will stimulate the economy, create 150,000 jobs and lead Queensland out of recession.”

The count is set to be close with the latest Newspoll showing Labor leading the LNP 51.5 per cent to 48.5 per cent on two-party preferred basis.

The poll, commissioned by the Weekend Australian, showed Labor’s primary vote steady at 37 per cent but the LNP’s down one per cent to 36 per cent.

Ms Palaszczuk led Ms Frecklington as preferred premier by 56 per cent to 30 per cent.

The premier also enjoyed an approval rating of 62 per cent compared to 35 per cent for the LNP leader.

Queensland’s polling booths close at 6pm.

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