Campaign set to target ‘ loony left’ figurehead
LNP leader Tim Nicholls has drawn up his battlelines in his push to win back government, targeting power prices, the cost of living and Deputy Premier Jackie Trad.
His speech at the LNP convention in Brisbane yesterday was as much a pitch to voters considering One Nation as to the party faithful.
Mr Nicholls distanced himself from his Canberra colleagues and from the asset sales and public service redundancies of the former Newman Government.
He co- opted the ghost of Robert Menzies as he painted himself and his parliamentary team as the conservative force to lead the state to prosperity, taking aim at policies unpopular with the Right and many within the LNP’s base, including the Safe Schools program and policies such as renewable energy targets.
He said anyone considering a vote for One Nation would ultimately be keeping Labor in power.
He and deputy Deb Frecklington singled out Ms Trad during their addresses to the LNP Convention in Brisbane – in the Deputy Premier’s electorate – insisting she held the real power in the Palaszczuk Government.
“The real power, we all know, is with Trad, who is the leader of the loony Far Left, under siege from the Greens in South Brisbane and the only job that Trad cares about is her own,” Ms Frecklington said.
“We have seen the evidence in what she did to mess up the Adani deal and her plans for our commonsense native vegetation laws.”
Mr Nicholls pointed to the Palaszczuk Government decision to go it alone on the $ 5 billion Cross River Rail project in Brisbane as further proof Ms Trad was trying to protect her own job.
While Ms Trad featured heavily in speeches yesterday, it is believed Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will still be the primary target of the LNP’s campaign, with its research showing voters did not believe she was making the decisions.
Mr Nicholls said he would remind Queenslanders “each and every day from now until the election of how Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor are hitting and hurting families and businesses with these outrageous power prices”.
“This next election, like no other before it, will determine the fate of Queensland for generations to come,” he said.
“Our priorities and policies can’t and won’t be matched by Labor, the Greens or One Nation. Let me say it again. There will be no deal with One Nation, no shared ministry and no coalition. The LNP is the only conservative party that can fix Labor’s mess.”
Mr Nicholls also distanced himself from infighting within the Coalition in Canberra.
“I say this, let’s not be distracted. We must remain focused on the issues and concerns deep in the hearts of Queenslanders and uppermost in their minds,” he said.
“My team and I won’t, and we don’t, take our riding instructions from Canberra. So at the next election, Queenslanders have a clear choice. They can support an inexperienced Labor Government with no plans to build a better Queensland or they can back a team that will listen, plan and act to build a better Queensland.”
Responding for the Government, Attorney- General Yvette D’Ath called on Mr Nicholls to do more than simply rule out a coalition government with One Nation.
“I hear the comments of Tim Nicholls that they would not take direction from Canberra but they are not ruling out taking direction from One Nation,” she said.
The speech took place on a controversial day of debate.
Former LNP President Bruce McIver was among members who helped vote down a motion for Australia to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord which would have undermined Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
The conference also voted down a motion to suspend immigration from countries where sharia law is practised and rejected a push to ban the burqa in public.
OUR WAY: Tim Nicholls speaks at the LNP state conference.