LNP's Dale Last and Deb Frecklington speaking at a press conference at Parliament. Pics Tara Croser.
LNP's Dale Last and Deb Frecklington speaking at a press conference at Parliament. Pics Tara Croser.

NQ to secure dedicated minister if LNP win

North Queensland will get a dedicated voice in the state government if the LNP wins the next election, Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington will say in Townsville today

Ms Frecklington, the keynote speaker at a luncheon hosted by Townsville Enterprise, will say the "biggest single difference" between the Opposition and the Labor State Government is the representation of regional Queensland.

It comes as both side of state politics attempts to woo North Queensland in the wake of the federal election result in May.

State Government ministers have been cycling through Townsville and North Queensland in the past two weeks, spruiking their "Budget for the regions".

"Since the federal election there has been a lot of talk about how the regions have been failed by the Palaszczuk Government," Ms Frecklington will say.

"I know that the concerns of people in North Queensland are very different to the priorities of people in inner Brisbane.

"North Queensland has unique issues and circumstances and that's why we will have a minister for North Queensland."

The State Government, including local MPs, has so far dismissed calls for an MP to be given the ministerial responsibility as the voice for North Queensland.

Mundingburra MP Coralee O'Rourke was previously the minister assisting the Premier on North Queensland but the role has not been reassigned since the portfolio was taken off her in December 2017.

Labor state MP's Scott Stewart, Coralee O'Rourke and Aaron Harper. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Labor state MP's Scott Stewart, Coralee O'Rourke and Aaron Harper. Picture: Zak Simmonds

 

Townsville MP Scott Stewart and Thuringowa MP Aaron Harper have both said Ms O'Rourke, who is communities, seniors and disability minister, is the de facto conduit for northern issues.

Burdekin MP Dale Last is the Opposition North Queensland spokesman.

Ms Frecklington will also spruik the LNP's plan to freeze royalty rates for 10 years.

"And it will also boost infrastructure investment," she said. "Because every cent of those new royalties will go into a new Queensland infrastructure fund.

"The fund will be used exclusively to pay for schools, hospitals, roads and bridges right across Queensland."

Traeger MP Robbie Katter has previously slammed the LNP's plan for the northwest minerals province, which includes an energy audit on how to bring down bills, as falling "well short of the mark".