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Qld voters offered stability or audacity

Queensland’s major party leaders have offered voters a choice of stability and prosperity or audacity and growth ahead of the state election.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk fronted Labor’s official launch in a plumbing apprentice work-shed in Beenleigh, while Ms Frecklington addressed LNP faithful at the five-star Emporium Hotel in Brisbane on Sunday.

The premier positioned herself as a strong leader, capable of standing up to powerful political forces to keep borders shut, protecting the state from COVID-19 and steering the course out of the recession.

“This election is a choice between the stability of a Labor government that has made the tough decisions and the right calls in hard times,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Or the chaos of an unproven, untrustworthy opposition who have been wrong every time it’s mattered.

“Your vote, your choice for Queensland. Jobs or cuts. Build and grow or slash and burn. Stability or chaos.”

Ms Frecklington appeared at the LNP launch with her husband and three daughters to ask Queenslanders to back a “big and ambitious” vision for change.

She’s pitching herself as a premier who would reinvigorate the state’s economy with a change of thinking and a series of nation-building projects.

Ms Frecklington highlighted her plans for a series of multibillion dollar projects such as the new Bradfield irrigation scheme, widening the Bruce Highway, a second M1 and a $493 million electricity subsidy to cut power costs for business.

“The LNP has a bold and ambitious plan to stimulate the economy, create a decade of secure jobs and lead Queensland out of this recession,” she said.

“We have a vision for the future.

“That vision is to make Queensland the economic powerhouse of Australia once again – The best place to get a job, get ahead and raise a family.”

Both leaders took swipes at each other over economic policy with Labor claiming the LNP was secretly planning to cut jobs and services, and the opposition claiming the government would bring in new taxes.

Ms Palaszczuk scorned the opposition for previously calling for the state’s borders to be opened and for the federal government’s continued criticism of the closure.

Ms Frecklington took aim at Labor’s decision not to hand down a budget until after the election, saying it was “dishonest and dangerous”.

Ms Frecklington didn’t make any new pledges at her party conference, although she did announce a $15.5 million plan earlier on Sunday to get older Queenslanders into jobs.

That fits with the LNP’s emphasis on financial restraint, even though they have made billions in promises, while Labor have been more comfortable about saying they will borrow billions to stimulate the economy.

The premier made a raft of promises including that TAFE fees for people under 35 would be scrapped for courses and apprenticeships in agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare and early childhood education.

She pledged to hire 6100 extra teachers, 110 teaching aides and spend $100 million on school guidance counsellors and psychiatrists.

Ms Palaszczuk also promised $117 million for a palliative care plan and unexpectedly promised a conscience vote on legalising euthanasia.

The Labor leader initially planned to put off a decision on a euthanasia vote until after the election, but she’s now prepared to make the issue part of her campaign.

That indicates Ms Palaszczuk is growing more confident of being returned with a majority government after a recent poll boost.

Labor’s launch ended with Tom Petty’s I Won’t Back Down thundering through the loudspeakers.

Queenslanders go to the polling booths on October 31.

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