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Leaders storm into Brisbane for debate, final four days of campaigning

Decision 2020

As the election comes to a head, Annastacia Palaszczuk and Deb Frecklington are preparing for their first election debate tomorrow.

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Palaszczuk started today with social media post from Airlie Beach, pledging $1 million to a local cable car project, before heading to Mackay to announce $10 million for the hydrogen sector.

At least one member of the media pack travelling with Palaszczuk questioned whether Labor was cutting the regional tour short and denying media opportunities, claims the Premier denied. Palaszczuk said she had to be in Brisbane on Wednesday for the Sky News People’s Panel. Yet the media pack left today before she did, allowing the Labor leader to campaign without them in Bundaberg.

Asked what people should expect from the first debate tomorrow, Palaszczuk said they should expect Liberal National Party costings, which Frecklington has said would not be released until Thursday.

“This is going to be a very, very close election,” Palaszczuk said, calling for voters to make informed decisions.

“Be under no illusion, it is going to be very, very tight, and once again we need Queenslanders to think very carefully when they go and vote. There is a really clear choice and that choice is whether or not Queenslanders back our strong health response … and our strong economic recovery plan focussing on jobs, growing the economy and getting Queenslanders back into work.

“Do they want myself or Deb Frecklington, do they want jobs or do they want cuts?”

Frecklington visited Mackay and Rockhampton today, holding press conferences in both cities, as she sought to campaign at a higher tempo than the Labor leader.

Having seized on the release of Labor’s costings on Monday, specifically the continuation of an efficiency dividend in Queensland Health, Frecklington maintained the LNP costings would contain no forced redundancies or asset sales. She also vowed to remove the health savings measure if elected.

“The Labor Party are trying to distract everyone from their failure in government for the last five years,” Frecklington said this afternoon.

“They’ve got nothing to run on and that is why they are so busy telling lies about everyone else.

“They don’t get the regions, they’ve got integrity scandals, and the highest unemployment rate in the nation.”

With four more days to campaign, the leaders face a dwindling voter pool, with a record number of Queenslanders already opting for postal or pre-poll votes.

Soon after Frecklington had finished her media conference this afternoon, Palaszczuk shared a Facebook photo of a KFC burger, with the message “lunch on the run”. She later shared a video “taste-testing world-famous Bundaberg Brewed Drinks”.

Tomorrow’s debate will be on News Corp’s Sky News. News Corp also owns The Courier-Mail and The Sunday Mail, which at the weekend called for the election of an LNP government.

On Friday, after the LNP has released its costings, the leaders will hold a debate at the Queensland Media Club, run by members of the parliamentary press gallery.

Palaszczuk has also promised to make an announcement on border restrictions before the weekend, in line with the monthly review guided by Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young.

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