Newman’s $80m tourism pledge

Premier Campbell Newman denies he is trying to one-up Labor by promising Queenslanders $80 million in tourism funding in yet another big-spending election announcement.

It comes less than a week after Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk pledged an extra $40 million for tourism.

The Liberal National Party (LNP) has already trumped Labor in other areas of the campaign, including promising $150 million for a new Townsville stadium after Labor committed $100 million.

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“We have planned all these initiatives for some time,” Mr Newman said.

“They are all fully costed, fully budgeted for – we can tell you where the money’s coming from.”

The LNP’s promises have been worth about five times as much as Labor’s, backed by its plan to lease about $37 billion worth of state assets.

Mr Newman’s tourism announcements involved a $60 million Queensland First fund to attract world-class films and events and a $20 million targeted Drive Tourism Roads Package to draw visitors to the regions.

The premier promoted his tourism announcement on the Gold Coast on Tuesday, visiting a Pirates of the Caribbean 5 set and Village Roadshow Studios at Movie World.

Mr Newman also hit out at Ms Palaszczuk’s claim at Labor’s launch on Tuesday that his government was defined by bullying and nastiness.

“I think the last three years have been characterised by strong, effective decision making that has made Queensland safer and more secure,” he said.

“That has balanced the books, that has got the economy going and created jobs.”

He stopped short of calling Labor’s campaign dirty, but said it was built on the same negative politics of 2012 when Mr Newman’s family was targeted.

Mr Newman also brushed off Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s confirmation he would not campaign in Queensland.

“We don’t need to be propped up by people from interstate,” he said.

“Sadly, there’s a lack of leadership in Labor, there’s weakness in Labor … and that’s why they need fly-in, fly-out politicians to help them at this time.”

Mr Newman spoke on Gold Coast breakfast radio on Tuesday morning, where he admitted the last movie he cried to was Interstellar, starring Matthew McConaughey.

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