Queensland’s Liberal National Party leader claims she’s never met businessman and former party member Clive Palmer as his death tax election ads continue to infuriate Queensland Labor.
The two campaigns on Tuesday converged on Mackay, where both leaders were called to answer questions about former party figures.
Palmer, who heads his own United Australia Party, has been running paid ads urging people to vote against Labor because he claims they will introduce a death tax.
Labor is furious about the ads and has urged LNP leader Deb Frecklington to call them out as well.
Frecklington says Palmer’s campaign has nothing to do with the LNP and distanced herself from him.
“I haven’t concentrated on his campaign at all, it’s got nothing to do with me,” she told reporters in Mackay.
“This is a binary choice between the LNP and Labor and that’s what I’m fighting towards.
“He has absolutely nothing to do with the LNP, I’ve never met the man and I’ve got no intention to.”
Meanwhile, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk shrugged off former Labor premier Peter Beattie’s criticism of her border closures.
Beattie claimed Queensland would “go broke” unless the borders were reopened after the election.
Palaszczuk has promised a decision on opening the NSW and Victoria borders by the end of the week.
“Frankly if we don’t open up, then Australia’s going to go broke,” Beattie told ABC News 24 on Tuesday.
“It’s a fact. It’s not a political comment Liberal-Labor, you know whatever, this is about the future of jobs in this country.”
The premier insisted the senior Labor figure’s criticism four days out from the election didn’t bother her.
“No it’s not, not it’s not,” the premier told reporters in Mackay.
Palaszczuk also rejected Beattie’s assertion the border policy was deepening the COVID-19-led recession in her state.
“I will concede that I will listen to the health advice to keep Queenslanders safe every single day,” she said.
“That is my job and you only have to look at the fact that our economy is open. Within Queensland, you’ve got Queenslanders out there supporting one another.”
Labor released its election costings on Monday, revealing it will need to save $270 million each year from the health budget until 2024.
Treasurer Cameron Dick insisted no public services jobs would be lost, but conceded that efficiencies would be found in medical procedures.
“We provide money for activities, principally medical procedures, and we ask hospitals to do more with that, two percent more, and that’s what we should do,” he said, referring to the two percent in efficiency savings the government wants Queensland Health to find each year for four years.
The release of Labor’s costings five days out from the election is designed to ratchet up pressure on the LNP.
The opposition will release its costings until Thursday.
Frecklington has already ruled out public service redundancies and asset sales.
She also promised on Tuesday that no funding will be cut from the health budget if she’s elected.
“The LNP will be ruling out any efficiency dividends coming out of Queensland Health,” she said.
However, she did not rule out finding efficiencies in the budgets of other departments.
Queenslanders go to the polls on October 31.
Marty Silk in Mackay