New Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Picture: AFP/Mark Graham
New Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Picture: AFP/Mark Graham

Calls for PM to focus on Queensland

QUEENSLAND Government MPs will begin lobbying to ensure the state isn't short-changed in a new Cabinet.

Within hours of securing the leadership, the new Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared he would have a focus on the regions - which will be vital in Queensland.

But there will also be serious concerns raised over the Government's chances in ­several key marginal seats, with some MPs before the spill saying Peter Dutton was the best chance to save them.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has already fired a warning shot against the state being forgotten: "We've seen billions of dollars go to NSW and Victoria. Queensland deserves a fair go."

Mr Morrison's backers point to commitments made to the state when treasurer - including $1 billion to upgrade the M1, $300 million for the Brisbane Metro and $3.3 billion in Bruce Highway upgrades.

As a former Tourism Australia managing director, he has also been welcomed by tourism groups.

Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive Daniel Gschwind said: "We expect this Government to have a strong focus on supporting the tourism industry with ... investment in regional Australia."

Liberal Member for Bowman Andrew Laming. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
Liberal Member for Bowman Andrew Laming. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

A Tourism and Transport Forum spokeswoman said: "We look forward to Prime Minister Scott Morrison's passion for tourism being elevated to the heart of government."

Queensland MPs are ­preparing to push to ensure the state retains its Cabinet representation.

"I don't think for a moment that Scott Morrison would reduce Queensland's standing in his ministry, it would be extraordinary if he did," one MP said.

The state holds the three most marginal seats in the country, including Petrie and Capricornia, which the Government holds by 0.6 per cent.

 

Ted O'Brien is the federal member for the Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax. Picture: supplied
Ted O'Brien is the federal member for the Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax. Picture: supplied

Fairfax MP Ted O'Brien said: "I'm confident that Prime Minister Morrison understands the importance of Queensland."

Bowman MP Andrew laming predicted a tougher approach to welfare under the new PM.

"This is the end of the blank cheques for not-for-profits providing services without taking economic responsibility," he said. "These services are going to run into a prime minster who is going to be all about mutual obligation."



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