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Frecklington wants to be 'loud and proud' about manufacturing but struggles to be heard

Decision 2020

Liberal National Party leader Deb Frecklington needed her hard hat today as she faced tough questions over policies and funding.

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For the fourth consecutive day, Frecklington focussed on manufacturing, promising to partner with Queensland companies to help them continue producing and promoting goods.

But it was the LNP’s own production and promotion processes that caused Frecklington the most trouble on the hustings in Townsville.

Frecklington re-announced plans for a $20 million ‘Built in Queensland’ program, after promising a 20 per cent electricity subsidy for manufacturers and yesterday promising funds for a ship lift to make Cairns a maritime services hub for Defence.

“I believe Queensland should be loud and proud about our manufacturing industry,” Frecklington said, wearing high vis again but without her hard hat.

Her Cairns announcement – made at the site of a long-term LNP donor – came amid long-running rivalry between the city and Townsville, which has a significant Defence population. In Townsville, she also faced criticism for re-announcing a policy, rather than offering locals something new, and not saying more about the city’s crime problem.

“Make no mistake, it is only the LNP that is tough on crime,” Frecklington said, clearly under pressure from journalists with little in the way of new announcements to scrutinise.

Under repeated attack from Labor over allegedly unfunded election campaigns, and supposed secret plans to cut services and staff, Frecklington was forced to say an LNP government would aim to return a budget surplus within three years “if possible”. She later clarified that she meant four years, before the press conference was cut short.

Frecklington reiterated the Palaszczuk government was the only state not to hand down a budget this year, and had presided over the highest unemployment rate in Australia. She said the LNP government would save and create jobs, particularly in manufacturing.

On COVID-19, Frecklington said she supported the cautious approach to the border with NSW, so long as the restrictions did not remain longer than necessary, but would show more compassion than Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

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