ASSEMBLY LINE: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (centre) speaks to trainees at the Townsville Trade Training Centre, where she announced regional employers would receive up to $20,000 in support payments for every eligible job seeker they recruit.
ASSEMBLY LINE: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (centre) speaks to trainees at the Townsville Trade Training Centre, where she announced regional employers would receive up to $20,000 in support payments for every eligible job seeker they recruit. DARREN ENGLAND

Major parties in race to outdo each other

A POLITICAL academic says a "mathematical" game of politics is unfolding across marginal seats as both parties boast ambitious jobs policies to fix the state's unemployment rate.

In Brisbane, the LNP swooped into a Mt Ommaney fencing business yesterday to continue pushing a 10-year plan it claims would create 500,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told a Townsville Tafe workshop how her government would extend the Back to Work program with an additional investment of $155million to help create 10,500 regional jobs.

Job creation is expected to feature heavily throughout the campaign.

LNP leader Tim Nicholls attributed the state's high unemployment to a do-nothing Labor Government, despite having not yet announced how his jobs bonanza will flow into the regions.

John Misckel, from Queensland University of Technology, said he was not surprised Mr Nicholls had chosen to stay in the southeast and the LNP leader was playing to his strengths.

Mr Misckel also dismissed claims the campaigns were off to a slow start with the parties reverting to their bases.

"LNP will always start off with a tilt towards small business," he said yesterday.

"For Labor they will go back to their traditional strength issues, so on Monday it was health and today it was job creation program in the regions.

"That's all directed at youth unemployment, which is a huge issue in the regions."

Mr Misckel said it was simply a question of maths as to why the parties had blitzed through opposing parts of the state.

"Labor holds more seats in regional Queensland than it did under the Bligh government," he said.

"Of the 14 notional seats Labor had from last time, seven of those are in regional Queensland.

"They're playing to where they have to retain.

"I don't think it's a gamble that Tim hasn't gone to the regions as yet."

The political academic said he would be shocked if the LNP didn't journey to Mansfield in coming days, ahead of speculation the party was staying in the southeast again today.

The Opposition Leader played down concerns yesterday he was not traipsing across the state like the Premier. He cited budgetary constraints and there simply not being enough planes.

"Our resources are controlled by the government," he said.

"My understanding is that they haven't changed over the past three years."

The LNP will remain in southeast Queensland, travelling to the Sunshine Coast today.

The Premier has continued her tour of North Queensland, landing in Cairns yesterday afternoon.



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