Queenslanders head to the polls: What is LNP leader Deb Frecklington promising small businesses?

Deb-Frecklington-Liberal-National-Party

Queensland Liberal National Party leader Deb Frecklington is seen during a press conference following a tour of Neumann Steel Fabrication ion the Gold Coast, on Saturday, October 10, 2020. Source: AAP Image/Dave Hunt.

Yesterday, we gave you a rundown of what Annastacia Palaszczuk’s Labor government has in store for Queensland small businesses, if the incumbent Premier is elected tomorrow.

Today, we’re taking a look at what a change in government could bring.

Queensland Liberal National Party leader Deb Frecklington has promised to focus on bringing jobs back to the state’s manufacturing and tourism sectors, as well as prioritising local businesses for government contracts.

Palaszczuk has promised a state budget by the end of November — something Frecklington can’t quite match. However, she has promised a budget, and all the potential small business boons that come with it, by February next year.

Manufacturing “front and centre”

Under an LNP state government, Frecklington has promised to ‘supercharge’ Queensland’s manufacturing industry, by providing electricity at cost to manufacturing businesses.

The $439 million plan would see some 16,000 businesses save about 20% on their electricity costs, a statement suggests.

The LNP has also said it will guarantee no new taxes for manufacturing businesses.

Manufacturing is “front and centre” of the LNP’s economic plan, Frecklington said.

“This investment will secure the jobs of Queensland’s 163,000 manufacturing workers and create new jobs in the future.”

“Cheaper electricity will make Queensland Australia’s manufacturing powerhouse and secure thousands of additional jobs by bringing more investment into our state.”

Frecklington has also pledged $8 million to an innovation fund for the manufacturing sector, supporting businesses to develop new products and capabilities.

Government procurement

Frecklington has pledged to increase the number of government contracts going to local businesses, in the food, manufacturing and medical supplies industries.

Weighting for local suppliers will be increased from 30% to 70%, with contracts mandated to be delivered by a Queensland business of any size, as long as they can meet the specifications.

This will apply to all new or renewed contracts.

Over the next five years, the plan is to transition all government contracts in these areas to be provided by local businesses.

“It’s never been more important to buy local and back Queensland businesses,” Frecklington said in a statement.

“Writing cheques with taxpayer money for businesses in other states and overseas stimulates their economy, not ours.”

Tourism boost

Frecklington has promised $50 million for a “marketing tourism blitz”, which she claims could bring 2 million more visitors, and $1.7 billion, to Queensland.

The plan will see funding go to 13 regional tourism organisations.

“Queensland’s tourism industry has taken a massive hit this year and it’s vital we protect and create jobs and bring tourists to the sunshine state,” Frecklington said in a Facebook post.

The LNP has also pledged $6 million to tourism operators working on protecting and maintaining the Great Barrier Reef.

This is a 12-month funding commitment, “to ensure operators can keep popular sites in pristine condition and be ready to go when the tourists return”, Tourism Shadow Minister David Crisafulli said in a statement.

Just a day before the state election, we’re awaiting news as to whether incumbent Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will re-open the state’s borders with New South Wales.

Rego rebate

The LNP has promised a $300 registration rebate for every registered car in the state — presumably including those registered to, and used in the day-to-day running of, small businesses.

However, Frecklington also sees this as a kind of stimulus, that will “give Queenslanders more cash to spend this Christmas”.

“Please spend it on your family, spend it with local businesses, spend it to make your Christmas better,” she said.

The road to recycling

Elsewhere, Frecklington has also pledged $60 million to stimulate the recycling sector in Queensland.

This will largely fund a trial for building roads out of recycled materials, to divert more from landfills.

But, this commitment could also be promising for small businesses and startups working on recycling projects, as Frecklington has also promised the fast-tracking of approvals for such things.

Are you a business or startup based in Queensland? What’s important to you this election time? Let us know.

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