REPLAY: Palaszczuk voted clear winner of election debate

 

The votes are in and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has emerged the clear winner of the Sky News and The Courier-Mail People's Forum.

Of 70 undecided voters, 53 per cent believe Ms Palaszczuk won, while 30 per cent gave the debate to Deb Frecklington and 17 per cent were undecided.

The pair had a fiery clash over reopening Queensland's international borders with Ms Frecklington accusing the Premier of 'verballing her' and Ms Palaszczuk accusing the opposition leader of 'misquoting' her and firing back 'I stood strong'.

 

They took questions from undecided voters during the one-hour forum, hosted by Sky News Chief News Anchor Kieran Gilbert, with just three days to go until Election Day.

The COVID border lockdown has dominated the questions - read how it has unfolded in the blog below

Ms Palaszczuk and Ms Frecklington are facing the group of undecided voters live for questioning from 4pm.

Youth curfew a 'blunt instrument'

Asked about youth crime, Ms Palaszczuk pointed to her government's plan to employ an extra 2,025 police officers over the next four years.

She said the LNP leader had been unable to explain her curfew policy, saying it could affect children who work late nights at KFC and McDonalds.

The LNP's proposed curfew to crackdown on young criminals was called a blunt instrument.

Ms Frecklington said it was a blunt instrument.

She said police would use their discretion as to which young people would be picked up and taken to refuges if they're found on streets after the curfew.

- Jack Mckay and Domanii Cameron


Premier doubles down on LNP costing question

The Premier has heaped pressure on Ms Frecklington to reveal her costings.

'How are you going to fund all your election promises?" Ms Palaszczuk demanded.

"That is the single most important question the leader of the opposition needs to answer tonight."

Ms Frecklington retorted - 'Firstly, we'll stop Labor's waste'

Ms Palaszczuk claimed 30,000 people would lose their jobs under an LNP government - something Ms Frecklington branded a "Labor lie".

Ms Frecklington accused the premier of having no record to run on, pointing to her continued attacks on the former government.

The LNP has previously committed to releasing their costings on Thursday, while Labor released their costings on Monday.

- Tanya French and Jack Mckay

How can future generations afford to live

Both leaders have been asked how they would encourage younger generations to have children when the cost of living was expensive.

Ms Frecklington said before and after school care needed to be made cheaper.

"Child care is one of the most expensive prohibitors from going into the workforce," she said.

"You need an economy that is firing on all cylinders."

- Domanii Cameron


Would Palaszczuk maintain a coal industry?

Ms Palaszczuk has been asked whether a re-elected Palaszczuk Government would maintain and grow the thermal coal industry.

The Premier said her Government supported the coal, gas and renewables industry.

She referenced a number of projects including Copperstring 2.0 and the Olive Downs Coal Mine.

"No one else has told me an alternative to making steel," she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said the languishing New Acland Stage Three expansion had been heard in the courts and a decision was pending.

"I'm not going to interfere in a high court decision," she said.

- Domanii Cameron


Renewable energy a 'crazy fantasy'

LNP leader Deb Frecklington has been asked if she thinks renewable energy is "crazy" and a "fantasy", after The Courier-Mail's state affairs editor Steven Wardill referred to previous comments made by her MPs.

She rejected those suggestions and said an LNP government would not back away from the current 50 per cent renewable energy target.

Ms Frecklington talked up the hydroelectricity opportunities for her New Bradfield Scheme, as she hit out at the Premier for not approving the New Acland mine.

She said renewables energy was just as important as other industries in the state, as she spruiked her plan to develop a recycling industry for solar panels.

- Jack Mckay

Frecklington quizzed about how she'd change the state


LNP leader Deb Frecklington has been quizzed about why Queenslanders should vote for Deb Frecklington and how she would change the state.

"We're looking at visionary, nation building projects," Ms Frecklington said.

"These are bold, big ambitious projects - but they have to be done.

"We need a bit of hope back in this great state of ours."

She claimed her policies were not about politicians, but the people she wanted to represent.

- Jack Mckay

Ms Palaszczuk has been asked whether her Government's border restrictions were at odds with creating jobs.

The Premier said her Government had taken strong measures based on the health advice and that is what Queenslanders would expect her to do.

Ms Palaszczuk said the NSW premier and Deb Frecklington wanted to tear down the borders.

- Domanii Cameron


How leaders would mitigate COVID spread

Both leaders have been asked how they would mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spreading while allowing people to cross the border should cases spike again.

Ms Frecklington said she would be consistent, compassionate and use common sense.

"Making sure we have COVID safe plans to attend something like a funeral for example," she said.

She said she would always follow the health advice.

The Premier pointed out that Queensland had granted the largest number of compassionate border exemptions - over 1,100.

She also said her government had beefed up its exemptions unit in a bid to deal with those difficult cases.

"I understand how difficult these situations are," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"But it's very difficult."

She said the government had to listen to the health advice.

- Jack Mckay and Domanii Cameron

 

Leaders quizzed on unemployment rate

Both leaders have been questioned about why the state has the highest unemployment rate in the country.

Ms Frecklington claimed that in the past four years, Queensland had suffered under the highest unemployment rate in the country.

"209,000 Queenslanders are out of work," she said.

"Queensland deserves better than being at the bottom of the economic ladder." 

The LNP leader hit out at the government for not having a plan to create jobs and accused them of not having a Budget - something Ms Palaszczuk disputed.

The government has promised to hand down a budget before the end of the year, while the LNP says they will deliver one within 100 days of assuming office.

In response to a question about unemployment, Ms Palaszczuk said when Deb Frecklington was part of Campbell Newman's government, unemployment was at 7.3 per cent.

Queensland's current unemployment rate is 7.7 per cent.

"In the five years that we've been in government, we've created 250,000 jobs," she said.

"We delivered five budget surpluses.

"We are absolutely focused on getting people back into work."

- Jack Mckay and Domanii Cameron


How will arts industry be revived?

The Premier and LNP leader have been asked about what plans they have to revive the state's art industry in the wake of the COVID crisis.

Ms Palaszczuk said it was great to see some events returning in a COVID safe way, and that she would like to see more.

"But we need to make sure we follow our COVID safe plans," she said.

"We will continue to back the arts industry."

Ms Palaszczuk pointed to their commitment to build a new performing arts centre in South Bank and an art gallery in Rockhampton.

- Jack McKay


The leaders clash over opening international borders

The leaders have clashed over reopening the international borders with Ms Palaszczuk accusing Ms Frecklington of 'misquoting her' and defending her stance that 'I stood strong' against interstate pressure to reopen domestic borders.

Both leaders were asked about the importance they place on international students returning to Queensland.

LNP leader Deb Frecklington acknowledged it was the third largest export in the state.

She said she had met with all of the vice chancellors of the universities to address the issue.

"The Queensland international education market provides so much back into our economy," Ms Frecklington said.

"We need to look at how that bubble is working for other states."

She promised to continue to work with the federal government to assist the industry.

Ms Palaszczuk said she had concerns about opening up international borders.

"We can't rush a whole lot of international people coming into Queensland and putting at risk our quarantine," she said.

"At the moment our hotels are keeping up with the demand."

The Premier said the Government could not extend Queensland's resources that would put the lives of Queenslanders at risk.

"I do acknowledge international education is important," she said.

Then things got tense with Ms Frecklington accusing Ms Palaszczuk of verballing her after the Premier claimed the LNP leader called for the border to be opened 64 times.

"You called for the borders to be opened 64," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"You called for all the borders to be opened with Scott Morrison … and I stood strong on behalf of the people of this state."

She accused Ms Frecklington of 'misquoting her' when Ms Frecklington said the government reopened domestic borders after the pressure.

"Don't misquote me please … I stood strong," a defiant Ms Palaszczuk said.

"You are misleading this forum."

- Jack Mckay, Domanii Cameron and Tanya French

Frecklington takes aim at tough funeral restrictions

In response to a question about why the Government shut down the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Deb Frecklington talked about the issue of funerals and how some people hadn't been able to attend them.

"If I was Premier, I would have asked the chief health officer to develop a COVID safe plan to allow people to attend events such as funerals," she said.

Ms Frecklington took aim at the Government, claiming celebrities received a free ride while someone recovering from brain surgery didn't get to recover at home.

- Domanii Cameron

Premier grilled on closed borders

The first question from the audience was to grill the Premier on the closed borders with a clearly distressed voter explaining how upset she was about not being able to farewell loved ones at funerals.

She was also questioned why protesters were allowed to hit the streets when restrictions were in place.

Ms Palaszczuk said at the beginning of the COVID pandemic she was given information from her Chief Health Officer that potentially tens of thousands of Queenslanders could lose their lives.

Ms Palaszczuk said she had 'many sleepless nights' over this.

"The Leader of the Opposition called for the borders to be opened 64 times," she said.

"We would have had a second wave here like Victoria."

The Premier said the Chief Health Officer recommended that a state health of emergency be declared, which is what they did.

- Jack Mckay and Tanya French

Premier opens up saying she kept QLD safe

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has started her opening statement saying she kept Queensland safe during the COVID pandemic. 'Now is the time for stability, not chaos,' she said.

In her opening remarks, Ms Palaszczuk said this year had been like no other.

"My number one priority has been to keep Queenslanders safe," she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said because of the strong measure on borders, the government had been able to open up the economy.

"There's nothing more important to me than Queensland families," she said.

"There is dignity in work."

- Domanii Cameron and Tanya French

Frecklington kicks off debate with 'bold plan'

Opposition leader Deb Frecklington is speaking first - saying it is all about making Queensland the best place to live, work and raise a family.

Ms Frecklington spruiked her party's "bold" and "ambitious" plan.

She talked about her plans to inject $1.1 billion into the economy through a $300 rego rebate, and their pledge to make after school care cheaper.

The Opposition Leader also talked up her New Bradfield Scheme, which the LNP says can help drought proof the state and power 800,000 homes.

"We know that when Queensland is building, Queensland is working," Ms Frecklington said.

- Jack Mckay and Tanya French



What you can expect from The Courier-Mail and Sky on election day

On Saturday, as Queenslanders head to the polls, Sky News and The Courier-Mail will deliver comprehensive coverage and analysis of the election.

The Courier-Mail will have live rolling coverage, interactives and in-depth analysis as the results flow in.

From 5pm, Sky News will feature experts including Political Editor Andrew Clennell, Deputy Nationals Leader and QLD Nationals MP, David Littleproud, Shadow Northern Australia Minister and former QLD Labor MP, Murray Watt, Former LNP QLD Premier, Campbell Newman, One Nation Leader, Pauline Hanson, LNP Senator for QLD, James McGrath and Former QLD Labor MP & Speaker John Mickel.

Sky News anchors Paul Murray, Alan Jones, Laura Jayes, Graham Richardson and Peter Gleeson will also provide insights and analysis on the night.


Why this People's Forum is a must-watch

The Courier-Mail editor Chris Jones said election campaigns were "usually a series of stage-managed picture opportunities where the 'real people' have been vetted by party advancers".

"This will be the first time the leaders won't have had the chance to see who's coming - and so the People's Forum will be the most authentic event of this campaign, with real undecided voters having the chance to ask their own questions of the two women vying to lead our amazing state," he said.

Paul Whittaker, Sky News Australia Chief Executive Officer said: "The stakes are high for the upcoming Queensland Election, with the winner securing the state's first fixed four-year term.

The Sky News / The Courier-Mail People's Forum is the only opportunity for Queenslanders to see the leaders go head-to-head and answer questions from undecided voters about their vision for the Sunshine State's future."

The People's Forum puts the two leaders face-to-face with real voters.

 

Deb Frecklington and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will face voters in the People’s Forum. Picture: Adam Head
Deb Frecklington and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will face voters in the People’s Forum. Picture: Adam Head


Paul Whittaker, Sky News Australia Chief Executive Officer said: "The stakes are high for the upcoming Queensland Election, with the winner securing the state's first fixed four-year term. The Sky News / The Courier-Mail People's Forum is the only opportunity for Queenslanders to see the leaders go head-to-head and answer questions from undecided voters about their vision for the Sunshine State's future."

Mr Gilbert said the People's Forum was the best approach for a debate, because the two leaders would come face-to-face with real voters.

"Sky News has established this forum as a key element of both state and federal election campaigns and a crucial chance for leaders to make their final pitch to voters," he said.

The result of the votes and who won the debate will be announced when Mr Gilbert joins Peta Credlin during Credlin at 5pm.

On Saturday, as Queenslanders head to the polls, this website will deliver comprehensive coverage and analysis of the election.


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