Prime Minister Scott Morrison joined the Liberal-National campaign trail in Queensland this week to throw his support behind state Liberal National Party (LNP) leader Deb Frecklington, drawing the ire of the incumbent Labor government.
Steven Miles, the state’s deputy premier, questioned why Morrison was in Queensland to support Frecklington’s campaign instead of “running Australia during a pandemic.”
“He is not a candidate. If people vote for the Liberal National Party, they won’t get Scott Morrison,” Miles said.
However, Morrison pushed back at the comments by Miles’s calling the deputy premier careless and juvenile on Monday.
“I think this guy’s got to grow up. I really think he does,” said Morrison.
“Being Prime Minister is the greatest responsibility that anyone could have in public life. And to be here to talk to Queenslanders this week about how our Budget and our economic plans are going to get Queenslanders back into work. That may have been something that has escaped him, but it certainly hasn’t escaped me,” he added.
Morrison’s campaign trip to Queensland coincided with the opening of Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence facility in Redbank southwest of Brisbane. Morrison reminded those present that facilities like these would help the Queensland economy bounce back.
“This facility is about jobs, important jobs for Queenslanders,” Morrison said.
Frecklington has said that if elected as premier an LNP government would contribute $135 million to a nearby defence industry and military technology precinct. It is estimated that this would create 350 construction jobs and 500 permanent jobs once operational.
“We want that advanced manufacturing, those future jobs, to be trained right here,” she said.
The Queensland LNP party has placed increasing emphasis on restoring economic growth throughout the northern Australian state.
In a policy statement, the LNP said that they intend to take an ambitious approach to job-creation by focusing on giving back more to small and medium-sized business and backing projects that create good-paying jobs for Queenslanders.
It’s a policy that Morrison echoed at a campaign doorstop at Outsource1, a road safety business in Brendale.
“The plans we are putting in place are getting Australia out of the COVID-19 recession, and it’s business-led. Because when businesses are making decisions to invest and to hire, that’s when the Australian economy grows,” he told reporters.
The Palaszczuk government has said that it will invest heavily in the public health sector, including seven new satellite hospitals with the pilot health care facility to be built on Bribie Island.
“This will be a game-changer for the way we deliver health in communities,” said Palaszczuk.
Labor has been in power in Queensland for five years, but this may change after the Oct. 31 poll.
There were 12 political parties and 597 candidates nominated for state election by the close of nominations on Sunday.
“This year’s State general election sees 144 more candidates than in 2017, where 453 ran for parliament,” Queensland Electoral Commissioner Pat Vidgen said.
“A vibrant democracy needs a strong contest of ideas.”