Queensland State Election 2020 Insights
The 2020 Queensland state election is scheduled to be held on Saturday 31 October and will mark the beginning of fixed four-year terms in Queensland. Now that voting has officially begun, Queenslanders can expect a fast and furious sprint to the finish line.
In her pitch for a third term, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has largely focused on the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, asking voters to stick with Labor’s plan to ‘keep Queenslanders safe and in jobs’.
Under the leadership of Deb Frecklington, the Liberal National Party (LNP) said this election is about who has a better plan for jobs and recovery, asking voters to support the Opposition’s plan to ‘get Queensland working again’.
With a slim majority of two seats, the Palaszczuk Government must fight to retain the 48 seats it currently holds, while also seeking to wrest vulnerable seats from the LNP. Despite Labor’s precarious position, the LNP faces a major task in its attempt to form Government, requiring an additional nine seats.
Recent commissioned polls from Newspoll and Galaxy indicate Labor is leading 52-48 on a two-party preferred basis. Both polls represent a turnaround of three points from polls taken earlier in the year. While it’s hard to infer the final result from these polls, they do indicate momentum is with the Labor Government as it holds the advantage of incumbency, which has proven to be valuable in the Northern Territory, New Zealand and ACT elections all held within the last month.
It remains entirely possible the election outcome could result in a minority government (Labor or LNP led). Any negotiations with the Crossbench would likely include Katter’s Australian Party (currently holds 3 seats), One Nation (currently holds 1 seat), the Greens (currently holds 1 seat) and the Independent MP for Noosa, Sandy Bolton.
Milestones and activities
Early voting has commenced across the State with pre-poll voting locations now open and absentee ballot requests closed. The Queensland Electoral Commission has announced more than 820,000 postal ballot requests were received.
Both parties held their official campaign launches at the weekend. The events were relatively low key, accounting for the limitations around gatherings.
Key policy announcements
During the campaign launch, the LNP focused on its economic plan to:
- Stimulate the economy, create a decade of secure jobs and lead Queensland out of recession
- Guarantee no new or increased taxes
- Set an unemployment target of 5%
- Start work on the New Bradfield Scheme — a large drought-busting infrastructure project
Other key policies announced to date include:
- $1 billion fund for road and rail projects across the south-east
- Expanding the Bruce Highway to four lanes from Gympie to Cairns
- Building a second M1
- $300 registration rebate for car owners
During the campaign launch, Labor announced:
- A $21 million plan to extend free TAFE and apprenticeships to under 25s
- $171 million in palliative care, including:
- A new Palliative and End-of-Life Care Strategy
- $102.5 million to employ more front-line palliative care staff to look after Queenslanders
- $54.8 million for community-based service providers to deliver home-based hospice care for adults and children and after-hours services
- Enhancing palliative care digital services and telehealth support for patients and staff
- A 24/7 hotline to provide support to palliative care practitioners
- Additional palliative care public education and advocacy
- The introduction of legislation for voluntary assisted dying in February 2021
- $100 million to give every Queensland primary and secondary state school student access to a psychologist or similar health and well-being professional
- 6,100 new teachers and 1,100 new teacher aides
- The establishment of after-school homework centres at 120 state schools
This is the first of three Queensland State Election updates from GRACosway. For more Election information, or to enquire about our public affairs and government relations services, please contact our Brisbane office on +61 7 3226 2600 or [email protected].