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State election turns ugly with a week to go

LNP Leader Tim Nicholls in Rockhampton.
LNP Leader Tim Nicholls in Rockhampton. Allan Reinikka

THE Queensland election campaign has turned nasty with both leaders trading barbs yesterday as they enter the final week before polling day.

After struggling to gain traction against Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk by running a "positive campaign," LNP leader Tim Nicholls yesterday hit out against his rival, labelling her a liar nearly 20 times during a 15-minute press conference.

Ms Palaszczuk also turned up the heat on Mr Nicholls, pushing a message of "chaos" if he won government with the support of One Nation.

Announcing her $30 million policy for new boating infrastructure across the state, Ms Palaszczuk took just 45 seconds before launching an unprompted plea to Queenslanders, saying Mr Nicholls had done a "deal" with One Nation, despite polling revealing Ms Palaszczuk may win many seats from One Nation preferences.

"Today also marks one week until the state election and I just want to really talk to Queenslanders and remind them about the choice they have to make this time next Saturday, and it is a clear choice," she said.

"It is a continuation of the government that I lead, good responsible government in contrast with Tim Nicholls with the LNP joining with One Nation which is a recipe for cuts and chaos."

Mr Nicholls fired back at Ms Palaszczuk, ramping up his attack despite saying at the start of the campaign he would run a campaign based on "hope and optimism."

The LNP leader also pointed to when Ms Palaszczuk as then opposition leader said she would not form government with the help of independents or minor parties before agreeing to the support of Speaker Peter Wellington in parliament.

"In this term of parliament, she has lied about the changes to the voting system, she's lied about paying down debt, she has lied whenever it has suited her for her political purposes and she lied about the Carmichael mine and putting at risk the thousands and thousands of jobs for Queenslanders," he said.

The two leaders yesterday announced near identical policies, each promising $30 million for boaties to build new boat ramps and other marine infrastructure.

Labor, however, has pledged to spend the money over two years compared to the LNP's four.

The LNP put projects such as the Molongle Creek all-tide boat ramp, public access to Hinchinbrook Harbour and a new rock wall at Bowen Marina at the top of their wishlist.

Labor said Mr Nicholls' comments were bizarre and his performance was more shifty than his appearance at the People's Forum on Thursday night.

"Tim Nicholls can't give straight answers," a spokesman said.

"His deal with One Nation is in black and white for all Queenslanders to see. It's his deal.

"The choice is more stark than ever - between a stable Labor government or chaos and confusion from an LNP-One Nation coalition."

Topics:  annastacia palaszczuk editors picks qldelection2017 tim nicholls

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