Palaszczuk back to work as count continues

SOURCESBS/Brisbane Times


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Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has launched straight back into work, despite not yet claiming victory in the state election.

With the vote count still underway, Ms Palaszczuk, Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and Local Government Minister Mark Furner have met with the Local Government association of Queensland.

They discussed the ongoing recovery from Cyclone Debbie, as well as the Labor government’s Works for Queensland program and the Sunshine Coast’s International Broadband Submarine Cable Project.

The premier said it was important to build on the work that was being done before the state election.

“(Tuesday) marks eight months since Cyclone Debbie crossed the Queensland coast and I thought it was important that today we got an update … about any outlying issues that need to be resolved,” the premier told reporters.

The government is still in caretaker mode, but under the conventions the premier can still act in an official capacity, so long as she does not make any decisions “which would bind an incoming government and limit its freedom of action”.

With the winners of 13 Queensland electorates unknown more than a day after polling booths closed, the race to claim leadership of the state remains too close to call. Labor has secured 43 seats on Sunday night, four short of the 47 needed to form a majority, while the LNP had 35, the Katter’s Australian Party had two and there were 13 left to call. However, respected psephologist Antony Green predicted Labor would be returned to government and win at least 46 seats, or up to 48. There was a swing of 7.8 per cent away from the LNP, with its primary vote plummeting from 41.3 per cent to 33.5 per cent, while Labor was on 36 per cent.

Ms Palaszczuk became the first woman to lead a major party from opposition into government in Australian history in 2015 when she surprised many by ousting one-term premier Campbell Newman.
Cementing another victory would make her the first woman to claim a second term as Premier.