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Labor 'out of puff' as LNP pushes for taskforce to tackle ice scourge

Decision 2020

An LNP government would establish a dedicated ice taskforce – with north Queensland in its sights.

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Campaigning in Townsville again today, LNP leader Deb Frecklington doubled down on her previous commitment of more police and a youth curfew.

Frecklington said an LNP government would spend $8 million setting up a dedicated police ice taskforce, staffed by seconded officers, and another $2 million to boost the existing drug squad.

She said that under Labor, unemployment and crime had increased, putting regional communities at risk. Her comments came as Premier Annastacia Palazczuk also campaigned in the region, looking for any last votes.

Frecklington said the only reason so many north Queenslanders wanted their own state – something she did not support – was that they had been let down by Labor. She vowed to govern for all of Queensland.

“When I first became the leader of the opposition, I went on an ice tour across Queensland,” Frecklington said.

“That was over three years ago and nothing has happened since then under the Palaszczuk Labor Government.”

Frecklington said the LNP would also spend more on rehabilitation and prevention, including $2 million for the North Queensland Cowboys rugby league club to push the anti-drugs message.

She also promised to shut down the “big crime gangs that are peddling drugs to our kids”.

“Our highways, the Bruce Highway, the Warrego Highway, are now known as ice highways,” Frecklington said.

“This is a scourge that is wrecking our communities and something must be done.”

With Labor due to release its policy costings today, largely funded by borrowings, the LNP will come under greater pressure to reveal how it will pay for its policy offerings and still aim for a budget surplus in the first term.

But Frecklington said she would not be “beaten up by Labor lies” and suggested Labor wasn’t releasing its costings to be more transparent.

“Sounds like Labor have run out of ideas and run out of puff,” Frecklington said.

“I will release our costings after all our announcements have been made.”

While critical of what she described as Labor’s negative campaign, Frecklington also took the opportunity to warn that a vote for Labor was a vote for Jackie Trad to return to Palaszczuk’s Cabinet.

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