Senate debates

Wednesday, 7 October 2020


Queensland State Election

7:40 pm

Photo of Nita GreenNita Green (Queensland, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

It is worrying to hear government senators come in here and use time to talk about their book sales, but I understand they don't have much to talk about from the budget that was delivered last night, so I can understand them wanting to spend some time attacking Labor and defending themselves. I am here to talk about regional Queensland and about jobs in regional Queensland.

The LNP in Queensland will put jobs at risk in regional Queensland. We know that. The LNP will put jobs at risk in regional Queensland because they have said that they don't care about having the majority government. When did they say that? They have decided to go ahead and preference every single minor party and have had the gall to go out there and say they want to win majority government. If you go ahead and preference every single minor party in Queensland, that's a sure-fire way to make sure that our Queensland government ends up in chaos in a time when actually Queensland needs certainty more than anything else. The LNP will preference Clive Palmer. They're going to go ahead and give him some votes. He's spending quite a lot of money on Facebook ads, so I can understand he would want something in return. They're going to go ahead and preference One Nation. We know One Nation votes with the LNP most of the time anyway, so that makes sense.

But this is the real clincher for me: they also are going to go ahead and preference the Greens in every single seat in Queensland. Every single one. In Townsville, they're going to preference the Greens. In Burdekin, they're going to go ahead and preference the Greens Party. In Keppel, Rockhampton and all across regional Queensland, where the LNP has stood up and said, 'We will protect jobs and we will represent regional Queenslanders,' they're going to go ahead and preference the Greens Party and do more damage to jobs in regional Queensland. It will possibly lead to more Greens getting elected into Queensland parliament, a smaller majority government and chaos and uncertainty for Queensland. But they're not going to tell you that when they head up to Townsville, put on their shiny new hi-vis and talk about how they're there for people and jobs in regional Queensland. What they are going to do on election day is preference the Greens Party. At the last federal election they said they'd put the Greens last. Now it's all about political opportunism for the LNP in Queensland, because we know they have incredibly bad judgement for risky behaviour and do not put Queenslanders first.

There's no better example of this than the position of the leader of the opposition, Deb Frecklington, on border closures in Queensland. What's very interesting is she's out there trying to say, 'I didn't want to open up the borders in July when there was an outbreak about to happen in Victoria.' She's been caught out. She's been caught out because over and over again, time and time again, she called for the borders to be opened. Even LNP senators in this place passed a motion to try to get Queensland to open its borders. That was 10 days before the Victorian outbreak started. If we had listened to the LNP, if Deb Frecklington had been allowed to make decisions on behalf of Queenslanders, there is no telling what would have happened.

Queensland needs strong and certain leadership. We need a Queensland Labor government that will back jobs, bring manufacturing back to the regions and build trains in regional Queensland, as opposed to sending the orders overseas. We need a Queensland Labor government that is prepared to go out there and say, 'We back you first above everyone else, we are here for regional jobs and we are here for Queenslanders,' not the LNP, who are out there making preference deals with the Greens to try to get themselves over the line and damaging Queensland at the same time. (Time expired)