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Palaszczuk accused of trying to strong-arm small business

The State Government’s offshore booking agency proposed a cut to motel rates – then invited a response in English or German.

Jul 16, 2020, updated Jul 16, 2020
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington. (Photo: ABC)

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington. (Photo: ABC)

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington used parliament to reveal an email sent by the booking agency this week asking for rates to be cut 10.6 per cent to continue to receive government business.

Asked by Frecklington why such tactics were considered appropriate, in an economic downturn caused by the pandemic, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was not aware of the details.

“There has been a cutdown in State Government travel,” Palaszczuk suggested.

Frecklington – who had earlier put the spotlight on government contracting with overseas companies – criticised the Government for having the agency do its dirty work. The email even gave the option of replying in German.

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“Annastacia Palaszczuk inviting a regional Queensland motel to communicate with her Labor Government in German is insulting to every Queensland business trying to survive a global pandemic,” Frecklington said.

“Labor should be backing Queensland not Deutschland. This is another betrayal by Labor of Queensland businesses and jobs.”

In parliament, Palaszczuk said her government had sought to boost and promote regional tourism and hospitality, while also offering $200 million in small business grants as support.

She said if the Labor government had listened to the LNP, and opened state borders sooner, Queensland’s economic recovery would have been put at risk by outbreaks of COVID-19.

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