Labor visiting regional Queensland but not sure of gaining seats

  AS Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk announced a suite of new integrity reforms, she avoided answering a question about how confident Labor was of picking up seats in regional areas.   

Ms Palaszczuk, speaking at a Queensland Media Club lunch in Brisbane, repeatedly spoke about travelling to regional communities up and down the coast, and out west - especially where the party no longer has sitting members.  

"We went back to basics ... through regional visits, town hall meetings, going to door to door, community to community, stopping in at the local pharmacy, going and talking to the mayors, rebuilding that trust," she said.  

"Whether it was at the Roma cattle yard sales, talking to rangers at Lawn Hill, whether it was out at Charleville sitting down talking to farmers about drought conditions, we have been out and about everywhere.  

"The result has been a slow and steady rise in Labor support.  

"Labor cannot rely on some automatic or inevitable correction to regain lost seats."  

But when asked directly how Labor confidence in picking up seats in regional areas, she focused only on her opponent at the upcoming state election.  

"What they're seeing is the massive cuts to jobs and services that is having a huge effect on those regional economies," she said.  

"Hope, opportunity, confidence have just been torn away and the communities out there are blaming one person for that - Campbell Newman."  

Ms Palaszczuk has vowed, if Labor clawed back enough seats to win government again, to make sure the parliament speaker is more than a referee on sitting days and ensure directors-general would be appointed on merit and their pecuniary interests made public.

She also foreshadowed a higher salary for the Crime and Corruption Commission head, which would be in line with a supreme court justice's remuneration.  

"We want the highest calibre of person to be in the position as the independent chair of the CCC," she said.  

"Yes it does mean more money but it means attracting the best and the brightest."  

Ms Palaszczuk also spoke about stimulating the economy through infrastructure projects, arguing the LNP's only new project was in Brisbane and costing taxpayers $2.6 billion.  

"Its capital works freeze is costing Queensland jobs," she said.  

"With the overdose of negativity dished out by the words and deeds of the LNP it's no wonder people slam their wallets shut, defer spending and put renovations or home buying on hold.  

"Others who lose their jobs move away from a city, town or region and seek work elsewhere.   

"Their spending is lost to the city, town region or indeed lost to the state."  


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