THE LNP has vowed to fight for the regions and reunite Queensland as they battle to regain the trust of North Queenslanders.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington and Deputy Leader Tim Mander were in Townsville today to promote Burdekin MP Dale Last as the “voice for the North.”
Mr Last has been named as the Shadow Minister for North Queensland, despite the Labor party scrapping that portfolio in their recently announced cabinet.
Ms Frecklington said she was determined to end the divide between the south east corner and the rest of Queensland.
”As a regional politician myself, I am very passionate about this,” she said.
“It is important for us to make sure Queensland is united and as the LNP team we need to earn the trust and respect back from Queenslanders.
”Disturbingly for the people of Townsville, we’ve seen Annastacia Palaszczuk not even appoint a minister for North Queensland.
“The LNP are proud of North Queensland and proud of the representation we have here.”
Ms Frecklington said Mr Last was appointed as the shadow minister as he was “not a career politician” and was known to work hard for his community.
He has also been appointed as Shadow Minister for Natural Resources and Mines.
Mr Last said he would fight hard to ensure Labor was held to account in the North.
“I give this assurance to you today to all North Queenslanders, that I will be working my backside off to regain that trust and respect going forward,” Mr Last said.
“This is North Queensland, we want our fair share of the pie.
“As we’ve seen yesterday the royalties are flowing from our mines down through Central Queensland into the government coffers.
“I’ll be fighting tooth and nail to ensure our fair share comes back to North Queensland to fund those critical infrastructure projects.”
Ms Frecklingon conceded it was concerning that the LNP only won two seats north of Bundaberg, being Burdekin and Whitsunday, where Jason Costigan was reelected for his third term.
“Naturally it is concerning… It is important to note that we have a really strong party structure in North Queensland, we’ve also got Jason Costigan in Whitsundays, Dale Lat will remain and be a very strong voice for the region,” she said.
Mr Frecklington defended her decision to not appoint Mr Costigan to the shadow ministry.
“The great thing about the LNP is we have 39 enthusiastic hardworking local members and we only have so many positions to give out,” she said.
“I’m really proud of the shadow cabinet and I’ve given them one direction and that is they have to earn the trust of Queenslaners.
“All of our members, whether they are in the shadow cabinet or not, have been given the instruction from me that they must work hard in their electorates. They must get around their patch, talk to their local communities and I know that alongside Dale Last, Jason Costigan will be a voice for the North.”