Heat on LNP over surplus

PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk and Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington narrowly avoided crossing paths while on a stroll on The Strand, as both party leaders spent day four of the election campaign in North Queensland.

Ms Frecklington was forced to defend the LNP's promise of trying to return to a budget surplus within four years, a stance at odds with federal colleague and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg who said it would be "damaging to the economy and unrealistic" to target surpluses over the forward estimates considering the significant taxes and large cuts to essential services it would take.

Ms Frecklington asserted she had ruled out any new taxes.

Touring Wulguru Rail Maintenance's yards in South Townsville, Ms Frecklington re-announced the LNP's $20 million "Built-in Queensland" fund to grow jobs by helping manufacturers promote Queensland-built products - a policy first announced in July 2019.

Ms Frecklington, alongside Burdekin MP and shadow frontbencher Dale Last, fattened her infrastructure pitch to voters with a $50 million commitment to upgrade the Peak Downs Highway.

The Premier, who had spent Thursday sandbagging Labor's marginal seats of Thuringowa, Townsville and Mundingburra, jetted off to Cairns where the government announced a $5m concessional loan for Skyrail, part of an $870m previously announced package to help industries struggling with COVID-19.

Through simultaneous news conferences spread across the state, the government also spent a third of its $3 billion election war chest - or as described by Treasurer Cameron Dick of new stimulus being borrowed to "invest in Queensland, particularly infrastructure and to create jobs".

A re-elected Labor government would spend another $1 billion on the education sector to upgrade schools, which will in turn provide significant work for tradies.

The initiative will be spent on upgrading dozens of education centres across the state.

Originally published as Heat on LNP over surplus

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