Battle for the north means more jobs, less crime, to break the cycle of despair

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has rejected suggestions a recent police blitz in Townsville was timed for the campaign.

Oct 08, 2020, updated Oct 08, 2020
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was kept at arm's lengths from the new politicians' pay rise. (Photo: AAP Image/Dan Peled)

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was kept at arm's lengths from the new politicians' pay rise. (Photo: AAP Image/Dan Peled)

In her third consecutive day wearing a high-vis vest to make an announcement, Palaszczuk announced $100 million over three years to upgrade TAFE colleges and offer more skills training.

The package, believed to be funded through $4 billion in extra borrowings announced in the recent budget update, would see TAFE colleges expanded in key areas such as manufacturing, nursing, robotics and cyber-security.

“It’s going to grow the economy and it’s going to make sure that our young people are equipped for the future,” Palaszczuk said.

Having promised Townsville a stadium at the last election, which was subsequently delivered, Palaszczuk said her pitch this campaign was for “jobs, jobs, jobs and more jobs”

Palaszczuk said she wanted Townsville workers to have the opportunity to benefit from the next economic boom of hydrogen, which she predicted would be worth “billions of dollars”. She linked TAFE upgrades in other areas to other job creation projects.

With the Liberal National Party running a law and order campaign in Queensland, Palaszczuk rejected suggestions recent police blitz in Townsville was timed to benefit Labor.

Asked if Townsville had a crime problem, Palaszczuk would not say, other than to reiterate that her government was investing more in police officers and police resources.

“We’re doing that right across the state,” Palaszczuk.

Labor’s candidate for the key seat of Mundingburra, former local councillor Les Walker, said any police initiatives needed to be complemented by investment in education, training, jobs, housing and health services.

Walker, a former corrections officer, faces an LNP candidate, Glenn Doyle, who is a former police inspector in a seat being vacated by Labor MP Coralee O’Rourke.

“We’ve got to break the cycle,” Walker said, adding that Labor was best-placed to do so.

“We’ve got to have a wholistic approach in relation to juvenile crime.

“If we don’t, as a community, stick up for our young people … we’ve got chaos.”

Palaszczuk also confirmed an experienced school principal and an acting police inspector would be sent to Lockhart River after a teacher was attacked on Tuesday night, allegedly by a drunk local man. Describing the incident as “horrific,” Palaszczuk also flagged a review of security in Cape York schools and government accommodation.

Treasurer Cameron Dick, who joined Palaszczuk at the press conference, again warned an LNP government would cut public servants and front-line workers to pay for its promises. He called on LNP leader Deb Frecklington to release policy costings before the last week of the campaign, as is custom, so that postal voters could be better informed.

Frecklington is also campaigning in north Queensland today.

As One Nation confirmed it would direct preferences to Katter’s Australian Party, Palaszczuk again called on Queensland voters to give Labor a majority to ensure stable government for the next four years.

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