Why your next premier might not be one of these women

 

Queensland's next premier might not be a party leader at this election, with both Annastacia Palaszczuk and Deb Frecklington refusing to rule out quitting if they can't form majority government.

As the campaign officially began yesterday with the Premier's visit to Government House to issue the writs, neither leader had answers to what they would do if Queenslanders delivered them a hung parliament after vows to do "no deals".

Asked if she would stand down as Labor leader and let someone else in her party strike a deal to form government if she falls short of a majority, Ms Palaszczuk would not say.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

"I'm asking Queenslanders for a majority," she said, repeating her calls from Monday.

"Majority brings about stability.

"What we are seeing with the Leader of the Opposition is a recipe for chaos and disaster."

Her deputy, Steven Miles, also would not say what should happen if neither side manages to win the 47 seats needed to form majority government.

"We have been very, very clear that we are campaigning for a majority Labor government and that is what we did at the last election."

Pointing to the The Courier-Mail YouGov polling that showed Labor ahead - which Ms Palaszczuk refused to be drawn on - Mr Miles said the only party that could "viably get to a majority" was Labor.

"If we do not, the alternative is allowing Deb Frecklington to cobble together a minority government," he said.

"And if you look at the crossbench, you can get a sense of what that minority government would look like."

Queensland LNP Leader Deb Frecklington during the first day of the state election campaign. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall
Queensland LNP Leader Deb Frecklington during the first day of the state election campaign. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall

Jackie Trad targeted as race for South Brisbane turns ugly

 

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington also hammered her pledge not to do any deals with minor parties in the event of a hung parliament.

She refused to answer a question about whether she'd step aside if the LNP falls short to allow a government to be formed as "sheer speculation".

"What I am aiming for each and every day is to gain the trust of the Queensland voters, Queenslanders deserve a majority government and that is what I'm offering," she said.

Responding to Labor criticism around her decision to preference Labor last in every seat, behind the Greens and One Nation, she said there was a "binary choice" between Labor and the LNP.

She said she would prefer Queenslanders could "just vote one" but the Palaszczuk Government took that choice from them when they overhauled election laws without consultation before the 2017 election.

As Ms Frecklington remained in Brisbane last night, the Premier jetted into the mining city of Mt Isa after earlier saying she backed resource jobs "whether they be in coal, whether they be in copper, whether they be in bauxite, whether they be in renewables".

The trip breaks with tradition, with expectations she would start her campaign sandbagging marginal Townsville or Cairns seats.

It follows Ms Frecklington's trip to the stalled New Acland mine in Oakey on Monday, where she accused Labor of costing mining jobs by refusing to approve the expansion while a court case continued.

Mt Isa is in state's safest seat of Traeger, which is held by crucial crossbencher Robbie Katter.

Mr Katter yesterday told The Courier-Mail he expected regional Queensland would be feeling a "shiver down the spine" over the LNP's preference strategy to favour the Greens to try to deny Labor a majority.

Katter’s Australian Party leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter in Townsville. Photo: Cameron Laird
Katter’s Australian Party leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter in Townsville. Photo: Cameron Laird

Mr Katter said former LNP leader Tim Nicholls's website still contained his 10-point guide on why the Greens should be preferenced last and he agreed with it.

The guide described the party as "economic vandals'' and claimed its members "think Law and Order is a TV show".

"What I want to know is what's changed since Deb was with Tim?" Mr Katter said.

Mr Katter said the LNP had provided a pathway to more Greens MPs in state parliament and enhanced their chances of forming the next government.

Meanwhile, the LNP are anticipating a campaign boost from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is pencilled in to make a cameo on the hustings after this week's Canberra Budget week.

It's understood Queensland Labor has requested federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese does not join the Premier on the campaign trail.

Originally published as Why your next premier might not be one of these women