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Frecklington a fake: Labor ramps up attack on would-be premier

Decision 2020

Annastacia Palaszczuk says Queenslanders know who she is and what she stands for, but says Deb Frecklington is a dangerous unknown.

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Ahead of the Liberal National Party releasing its policy costings this afternoon, Palaszczuk has been on the Gold Coast as part of a blitz of southeast Queensland seats.

Palaszczuk, accompanied by deputy Steven Miles, continued to warn of staff and program cuts under an LNP government and that Frecklington would put big business before health.

Labor’s promotion of Palaszczuk has softened in recent days, as shown by photo opportunities with parrots and koalas at Currumbin today. But at the same time, party strategists have sought to capitalise on the fact some Queenslanders still do not know who the other contender for premier is. Labor’s criticism of Frecklington has become more harsh, in an effort to emphasise the LNP organisation behind her and the Newman government that came before her.

Palaszczuk said Frecklington could not be trusted with the economy or the response to COVID-19. The Labor leader vowed to keep putting Queenslanders first and ahead of any other interests, in a veiled reference to the LNP donors that Labor strategists have warned about.

As the campaign comes to a close, Palaszczuk appealed directly to the Queenslanders who have yet to vote in the “knife-edge” election. It came a day after she took the attack to Frecklington in a public forum, and ahead of tomorrow’s Queensland Media Club debate.

“With me, people know me: what you see is what you get,” Palaszczuk said.

“The choice is myself, someone who has your interests at heart, or Deb Frecklington, someone who is untried and who is untested.”

Palaszczuk has repeatedly said she would prefer to lose the election than put Queenslanders at risk from COVID-19. She will receive an update from Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young this afternoon, before a briefing tomorrow leading to an election-eve decision on whether to lift border restrictions.

Labor is not foreshadowing the outcome. Miles told journalists that Palaszczuk “says the same thing behind closed doors as she says to the Queensland public”.

After talking with former disenchanted former LNP member Jann Stuckey in Currumbin, Miles said Frecklington had still not stood up to the “bullies” in the LNP who forced Stuckey out and opposed reforms such as voluntary assisted dying.

Miles said NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, in saying that she had discussed the border policy with Frecklington, had also revealed the LNP leader to be two-faced.

While Frecklington denied telling Berejiklian that, if the LNP was in power in Queensland, the border restrictions would already have been lifted, Miles was unrelenting.

“We always knew that Deb would just dance to Scott Morrison’s tune, and now we learn she can’t even stand up to Gladys Berejiklian,” Miles said.

Frecklington, who has also vowed to take health advice on COVID-19 policies, visited a caravan and camping show in Brisbane this morning.

With Labor keen to scrutinise LNP costings this afternoon, Palaszczuk reiterated that she had been upfront about the intention to borrow $4 billion to pay for election promises, and voters could not trust the LNP regardless of the detail in their costings.

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