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Jim Chalmers: Level-headed leadership or politics before people

Party Lines

A Frecklington government, like its federal counterparts, would leave too many Queenslanders in the lurch, writes Jim Chalmers

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A week before the federal budget I was in a Cairns coffee shop listening to Troy, a local business owner and employer, despair about Scott Morrison and the federal LNP’s decision to start unwinding their support of the local economy.

I’ll tell you what I told Troy: the LNP, state and federal, they just don’t get it.

The federal coalition, so obsessed with undermining a strong, stable Palaszczuk Labor Government, has left too many Queenslanders in the lurch, cutting job-saving, business-saving programs like JobKeeper right when they are needed most.

And not just in Cairns – but right across our state.

Millions of dollars ripped out of local economies every fortnight by the Federal Government, risking more job losses and more business closure with no plan to get those people back to work.

But it was OK, they promised us – everything would be fixed in last week’s budget.

But if Troy and others like him, on the verge of making difficult decisions about staffing, investment, and the future, were hanging out for a proper plan to support regional economies across Queensland then they’ve been let down and left out.

The federal budget somehow managed to rack up a trillion dollars in debt while failing to produce a plan to create jobs, to build for the future or prevent more Queenslanders being left behind in this recession.

Every day the Prime Minister spent in Queensland this week was a reminder of that, but not just that.

If Scott Morrison thought that his campaign holiday would be seamless photo-op after photo-op with grateful Queenslanders queueing up to bump elbows then he must be feeling every bit as disappointed as those he left out in the budget.

His presence has also been a daily reminder to Queenslanders that the Federal Government in Canberra have been colluding with Deb Frecklington to rage against and undermine the health advice and difficult decisions on borders that have saved lives and jobs across the state.

A daily reminder of the dodgy fundraising that featured a federal minister.

A daily reminder of the chaos and disfunction that riddles the State Opposition.

A daily reminder of their dodgy preference deals that put politics before people and endanger the stability of our state.

Compare this with the calm, resolute leadership we’ve had from Premier Palaszczuk right through this crisis.

There couldn’t be a clearer choice shaping up as we enter the final stretch of this election campaign: between Labor’s level-headed leadership and a plan to get the state moving again; and a state LNP that will do whatever it’s told by a Morrison Government which is leaving Queenslanders behind in this recession.

Queensland LNP Senator Matt Canavan and federal Shadow Treasurer Dr Jim Chalmers will be writing weekly columns for InQueensland during the state election campaign

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