Frecklington plays the family card: $80m for outside school hours care

On her wedding anniversary, and after catching up with her family, the LNP leader has promised to help Queensland parents get back to work.

Oct 22, 2020, updated Oct 22, 2020
LNP leader Deb Frecklington shared a family photo on Facebook today.

LNP leader Deb Frecklington shared a family photo on Facebook today.

Her policy announcement on the Gold Coast came amid a mixed response to the LNP’s proposed trial of a youth curfew in Cairns and Townsville. Under the proposal, police would have the power to detain young people in ‘refuges’ and fine their parents $250 for allowing them to breach curfew.

Frecklington today downplayed the prospect of the trial being expanded, saying it was specific to the two north Queensland cities and would run for six months.

“The juvenile crime problem in Townsville and Cairns is out of control,” Frecklington insisted.

But Frecklington said she hoped the LNP’s before and after school hours care package could be rolled out across Queensland to help parents return to work.

If elected, an LNP government would create 30,000 extra places in centres established for state schools, with money for infrastructure, training, and a new bureaucracy in Education Queensland.

Describing herself as a “working mother,” and joined by a backbencher with kids, Frecklington made the announcement after taking to Facebook to share a wedding photo for her anniversary, and a fresh picture of her family. It is one of the biggest family-focussed promises of the campaign.

Frecklington said she wanted Queensland to be “a state that is booming, a state that is at the top of the economic ladder not at the bottom, a state where if you want a job you can get one, a state that is the best place to live and to raise a family”.

“That’s the state that I want to be a premier of,” Frecklington said, later sitting down to read to children in front of television cameras.

The LNP has come under sustained pressure from Labor to reveal how it would fund its election promises. The costings will be released before Frecklington and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk go head-to-head in a Queensland Media Club debate on election eve next Friday.

Palaszczuk, in Cairns today to announce a $40 million package for the Great Barrier Reef, again accused Frecklington of secret plans to cut services and public servants.

Portrayed by Labor as the strong leader Queensland needs during a pandemic and recession, Palaszczuk took a swipe at NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Prime Minister Scott Morrison and vowed to keep fighting for her state.

Palaszczuk challenged Queenslanders to consider what would have happened if the border restrictions had been lifted months ago as Frecklington, Morrison and Berejiklian wanted.

“This election is very, very important, it is about who you trust to run the state and make those tough decisions,” Palaszczuk said.

“Now I made those tough decisions on the border. People were yelling and screaming at me to open those borders. Well I stood firm for the people of this state.”

Frecklington has shifted and honed her position on the border and now backs Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young continuing to provide advice on the issue. She claims she would bring “consistency, compassion and common sense” to the job of premier.

“I will stand by the health advice,” Frecklington said, under questioning from reporters.

“The health advice is that the borders are closed right now. The borders should not be closed for a day longer than they have to be. The health advice changes on a daily basis.”

Palaszczuk declined to criticise the LNP’s proposed curfew – “When Deb Frecklington can explain her policy to the public, I’m happy to make a comment” – but Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath described it as “half-baked” and said it would not work.

While Labor claims the LNP has more than $27 billion in unfunded policies, the LNP claims Labor has already announced $3 billion more than the $4 billion it is borrowing to pay for its re-election platform.

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