Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is urging voters to judge her on record on containing COVID-19 this year and her plan for economic recovery, at the state election.
The campaign officially got underway on Tuesday after Governor Paul de Jersey dissolved the 56th parliament and issued a writ for the October 31 vote.
In her first campaign appearance, Ms Palaszczuk highlighted the Labor government’s coronavirus measures, including controversial state border closures, and their plan to restart the state’s economy.
“They will judge us on our record they will judge us on how we have handled COVID and keeping them safe and they will also judge us on our economic recovery plan, and we have an economic recovery plan which is focused on Queenslanders,” she said.
Ms Palaszczuk has focused on campaigning on her government’s record over the last nine months, rather than the entire term.
The premier took aim at Liberal National Party leader Deb Frecklington’s plan to put Labor last on their how to vote cards in all 93 seats.
The premier won’t reciprocate, saying she wanted a majority government to lead the state, but adding that Labor would put the minor right-wing party One Nation last.
“Queenslanders want stability, I think we learned that during the last campaign, they want stability. And what the opposition is putting together is a recipe for chaos,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Meanwhile, Ms Frecklington kicked off the LNP campaign by promising not to form a minority government if her party wins most seats.
She categorically denied that the LNP had spoken with minor parties like One Nation, Clive Palmer or Katter’s Australia Party about preferences.
Ms Frecklington promised not to form a minority government with any of the minor parties, even if the LNP wins the most seats.
“That’s correct,” Ms Frecklington told ABC Radio.
Ms Frecklington said it was her decision as “party leader” to put Labor last and voters needed to realise that the election was a “binary choice” between the two major parties.
The opposition leader promised that a majority LNP government would deliver jobs and major infrastructure projects like the Bradfield inland irrigation scheme and widening 1450 km of the Bruce Highway from two to four lanes.
She said in contrast Labor had delivered the nation’s highest unemployment rate before the pandemic began.
“Queenslanders deserve a government with vision and ambition,” Mr Frecklington said.
“I mean this is all about who has the best plan to get Queensland working again, I mean we need to get Queenslanders into work and into jobs.”
The LNP leader wouldn’t reveal how they would pay for their election commitments but promised there would be no new taxes or forced redundancies in the public service under the LNP’s plan.
Ms Frecklington insisted the LNP’s promises were fully funded and costings would be released in the final week of the campaign as is normal practice.
About 3.3 million Queenslanders go to the polls on October 31.