PREMIER Anna Bligh had little to promise when she made a surprise visit to the Sunshine Coast yesterday, but she did manage to land a few blows on the Opposition.
It was the first time Ms Bligh had been in the region since Jessica Watson sailed into Mooloolaba harbour last year.
Beyond her role as guest speaker at the Surf Life Saving Queensland conference, Ms Bligh took pot shots at Opposition Leader Campbell Newman.
Within the few minutes of her low-key doorstop, she attacked Mr Newman’s apparently fluid position on both the future public hospital and the confusion surrounding a possible split of the local council.
She swiftly assured the Coast that the Kawana Public Hospital was guaranteed full funding.
“We won’t be making a $400 million cut as Campbell Newman has promised,” she said in reference to the Opposition Leader’s claims he could make the cuts but deliver the same hospital.
Opposition health spokesman and Caloundra MP Mark McArdle has so far refused to discuss how these savings are possible.
From health, the Premier shifted to an attack on the LNP’s position on de-amalgamation.
“We want a strong, united Sunshine Coast with a strong, united council to make sure it is capable of handling all the challenges the future may bring,” she said.
Mr Newman has so far said he would consider a boundary change for Noosa, but that it would have to stack up financially.
On top of that, he flagged that a vote on splitting the council could be held across the region.
This in turn has been publicly questioned by Noosa LNP member Glen Elmes.
Premier Bligh said it appeared not even Mr Campbell knew what he was doing on the issue.
“What we’ve seen from Campbell Newman is flip-flopping and changing his mind.
“One day they’re having a vote, the next day they’re not having a vote.”
In response, Mr Newman accused the “tired” Bligh Government of creating this council mess, describing the LNP as the only alternative.
When Queensland goes to a state election, Ms Bligh said the state would be clear on Labor’s future plans.
“Many of those will be very attractive to people on the Sunshine Coast,” she said.
“I know that on the Sunshine Coast we don’t necessarily hold seats at the moment but I’m going to make sure that every voter in every part of the state knows what we stand for.”
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