Back: LNP Senators Susan McDonald and James McGrath. Front: Warrego MP Ann Leahy.
Back: LNP Senators Susan McDonald and James McGrath. Front: Warrego MP Ann Leahy.

‘We need a change’: LNP leaders meet in Roma ahead of election

LNP leaders gathered in Roma over the weekend to kickstart their campaign trail leading up to the October 31 Queensland election.

Warrego MP Ann Leahy, Senator Susan McDonald and Senator James McGrath were united that their focus of the campaign needs to be jobs and employment opportunities.

“We regularly catch up across the electorate and today in Roma we were talking about how we’re going to win the election and the policies we have for October 31, a lot of them is about jobs,” Ms Leahy said.

When locals ask, ‘What will the LNP do for me?’, the Warrego MP said first and foremost she will ensure electricity costs decrease, not only households but for businesses so they can employ more people.

“We want to introduce retail competition in regional areas – in Brisbane there’s 27 different retail providers and households can get up to $300 in savings, so why just because legislation prevents it, should we have that restriction here,” she questioned.

“If the LNP is elected, one of our key core policies is to enable retail competition in regional areas – people in the region should have access to price reductions that are available.

“I know businesses just have not set-up in these areas because they can’t get the electricity deal.

“I know for one bakery; their combined gas and electricity bill is $400 a day. It’s holding back employment as well. He said if we could shop around, he could employ more people.

“One Caltex in the area pays $7000 a quarter. It’s crazy.”

Senator McDonald said electricity prices have increased three-fold in the past ten years.

“Labor has been in government 26-years out of the 30-years,” she said.

“We need a change.”

The LNP will give a ten-year royalty freeze to the resources industry in Queensland, if elected.

“Electricity prices have impacted our resources industry, particularly in this region,” Ms Leahy said.

“So, we’re going to give a 10-year royalty freeze to the resources industry in Queensland. “They had their gas royalties jumped up last budget by 25 per cent overnight and no business can adjust to that overnight change in their cost structure.

“Our gas guys are wearing a lot of additional costs and because they’re an essential service and they want to make sure they’re COVID Safe.

“We just can’t afford to have a shut down of a gas field in this area because that’s an essential service here.”

Senator McGrath said COVID-19 is providing an “alibi for Labor’s incompetence.”

“Ann always talks about how Queensland had the highest unemployment rate but lowest business confidence and the highest debt,” he said.

“And all these key economic factors are hidden by coronavirus. We need to get the economy going to get jobs going, that’s our main objective.”

Ms Leahy said she was aware it could appear as though she harps on about fixing the roads, but said it was crucial to several industries.

“We’re not out of the drought yet and the federal government have done a fantastic job in supporting many of our agricultural industries but we’re not out of it unless we get sufficient rains going forward,” she said.

“We have to get our roads wider because that supports our agricultural industry, mining, resources and our tourism.

“Our grey nomads are really important to towns out here. We need that cash injection but if we don’t have a safe way to get here then we have a real problem.”

Senator McDonald claimed the difference between the LNP and Labor is the LNP believe in the regions.

“The LNP desire to see population and families stay in the region – improve the schools and health so families stay here rather than move to the coast,” she said.

“That’ll be the biggest investment to the Maranoa, the people.”

Ms Leahy said the election is all about jobs, not just in the southeast but across Queensland.

“We must supercharge this region,” she said.