Scott Morrison wants central Queenslanders to know that he’s not afraid to back miners and manufacturers.
The smell of burning plastic greeted the prime minister as he toured a water tank producer in Rockhampton on Friday to demonstrate just that.
After moving among huge, whirring metal machines, the leader learnt outside that Nu-Tank is among businesses that plans to take advantage of the government’s instant asset write off.
“I’ll ring Josh, he’s going to be very excited,” Mr Morrison said, in reference to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
He was flanked by local LNP MP Michelle Landry, who is fighting to keep the seat of Capricornia – which she holds on a very narrow margin of 0.63 per cent – against a challenge from Labor’s Russell Robertson.
The opposition lost the seat in 2013.
The prime minister has pledged $30 million for a new school for miners in Rockhampton and Gladstone, which will also benefit the seat of Flynn held by the LNP’s Ken O’Dowd by 1.04 per cent.
The new CQUniversity school will teach the skills in science, engineering and mathematics needed to succeed in the mining, resources and manufacturing industries.
Mr Morrison is confident its graduates will have thriving industries to work in.
“We wouldn’t be going and spending $30 million on a school of mines and manufacturing if we didn’t believe there was a future for mines and manufacturing, and there will be under the government I lead,” he told 4RO Radio on Friday.
“I don’t think you can say that for the Labor Party, because their heart is not in it.”
There are about 40,000 full-time jobs in the resources sector in central Queensland, with the industry contributing 37 per cent to gross regional product.
Mr Morrison arrived in Rockhampton on Thursday evening, going to a local pub to watch the Cronulla Sharks – his rugby league team of choice – beat the Gold Coast Titans.
He is also expected on Friday to attempt to undermine Labor’s policy costings with his attack line that the party can’t be trusted with money.
That comes after he spent Thursday on the NSW mid-north coast, speaking with locals about the dangers he believes are posed by Labor’s tax reforms.