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Frecklington says she is playing to win, not do deals with the right

Decision 2020

The LNP leader has defended her youth curfew proposal and shrugged off claims she is appealing to right-wing parties for support.

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Campaigning on the Gold Coast again this morning, while Labor leader Annastacia Palaszczuk was busy with national Cabinet, Frecklington faced questions from the media over criticism of the proposed curfew.

An LNP government would trial a six month curfew in Townsville and Cairns that would see police given the power to take kids to ‘refuges’ and fine their parents $250.  The curfew would be 8pm for youths under 14, and 10pm for older kids aged under 18, with police having some discretion to determine who should be detained.

While some have accused the LNP of seeking to discriminate against poor and indigenous families in the north, and questioned how fines would help, Frecklington doubled-down on the policy.

“I find it deeply offensive that people are being racist,” Frecklington said, shrugging off questions about the cities’ large indigenous population and over-representation in the criminal justice system.

“This is a juvenile crime issue and it doesn’t go across race.”

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the LNP policy had been widely criticised and he believed it was a “simplistic” response to a crime problem the government had been dealing with.

Campaigning in Rockhampton, where One Nation leader Pauline Hanson also made a rare appearance today, Miles warned of the LNP doing deals with right-wing parties to form minority government. He said that would undermine Queensland’s response to the pandemic and recession.

“When people see Pauline Hanson I want them to imagine a Deb Frecklington-led government with Clive Palmer and Pauline Hanson pulling the strings,” Miles said, adding that Hanson was “just like the LNP, only in orange”.

But Frecklington said Labor was the party that had problems deciding how to preference One Nation, with some candidates ignoring the edict from Palaszczuk and party officials that One Nation be put last. She accused Miles of lying to divert attention from Labor’s troubled campaign.

“The LNP are focused on getting to majority government because that’s what Queenslanders deserve,” Frecklington said.

LNP candidates are expected to put Labor last on how-to-vote cards, except when running against anti-vaccination candidates from the Informed Medical Options Party.

Frecklington yesterday downplayed the prospect of the curfew being introduced elsewhere in Queensland but today said that police in her electorate of Nanango wanted it locally. She also sought to link the curfew with the child safety issues that have plagued the Palaszczuk government, saying the policy was also designed to help kids.

“Children have been dying under the watch of the Palaszczuk Government,” Frecklington said.

“Something is going wrong and it is the Palaszczuk Government.”

This afternoon, Palaszczuk again turned down an opportunity to personally criticise the curfew proposal, instead pointing to others who had been critical and suggesting Frecklington had been unable to explain the details.

With Treasurer Cameron Dick now warning of the LNP having to sack 32,037 to pay for $26 billion in unfunded election promises – Frecklington insists the costings will be released next week – Palaszczuk urged Queenslanders not to gamble with change.

“This election is a very clear choice, it is going to be very tight,” Palaszczuk said.

“The future of our state is at stake.”

Next week, the leaders will engage in two debates, the parties will release their costings, and a decision will be made on whether to lift COVID-19 restrictions on the border.

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