Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has warned Labor MPs and candidates “they’ll be read the riot act” for not toeing the party line over preferences, after photos emerged on social media of supporters encouraging voters to “put the LNP last”.
Visiting the northern Gold Coast suburb of Coomera on day 15 of the state election campaign, Ms Palaszczuk denied she had lost control of candidates and said she and the party secretary had both made it clear One Nation must be last on how-to-vote cards, not the LNP.
It comes after a video appeared on social media showing a man holding up a yellow and black “put the LNP last” sign while dancing alongside Labor volunteers for Barron River MP Craig Crawford.
In a different photo, a white ute was seen displaying a “put the LNP last” placard beside two corflutes for Keppel MP Brittany Lauga.
Matters of State podcastIn the lead up to the Queensland state election Steve Austin and Matt Wordsworth break down the big questions and crucial campaign moments.Read more
Asked about reports ALP candidate for Burdekin Michael Brunker had again told voters to put LNP MP “Dale Last last” in online posts, Ms Palaszczuk said “they’ll be read the riot act, I’ll tell you that”.
Mr Brunker said the post was supposed to imply that people who were voting for a minor party should preference him second and put Dale Last last.
Mr Crawford told the ABC anyone holding a “put the LNP last” placard was a third party who was “not involved with us”.
“They are involved with the unions. I don’t support that,” he said.
“We are putting the LNP third.
“If I can’t be the member for Barron River, then I’m happy for Aaron McDonald from the Greens to be the member, and if not him then it’s Linda Cooper for the LNP.
“Beyond that, I can’t really pick anyone from the other parties.”
Ms Lauga said she believed the “put the LNP last” sign spotted on the ute was not an ALP sign and it was not endorsed by the party.
“I believe the sign to which you refer has been created, authorised and erected by the Queensland Council of Unions,” she said.
Queensland election 2020 full coverageVisit our full coverage page for all the latest news on the Queensland state election.Read more
“We do not support its mantra, which says to put the LNP last.”
She said her how-to-vote cards urged voters to put LNP in fourth place and One Nation last.
“Any vote for One Nation or LNP runs the risk of delivering a chaotic, minority government where they may hold the balance of power,” she said.
LNP Deputy Leader hits out at Labor
“This is not a mistake; this is a strategy by the Labor Party and they have misled Queenslanders,” Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mander said.
“They say something in Brisbane and say something totally different in the regions.”
He said the LNP believed the election was a “binary choice” between the LNP and Labor.
“The best way to make sure there is a change of government is to put Labor last,” he said.
But asked why the LNP candidate for Maiwar put the Greens below Labor in her how-to-vote card, Mr Mander said the situation was “a little bit different” in that seat.
“The Greens actually have that seat and so, again, we want to get rid of the sitting members in those seats,” he said.
Volunteer suspended over Schoolies video ‘no longer taking part’ in campaign
Meanwhile, the LNP was forced to defend itself after a Young LNP volunteer, who had been suspended over a racist comment about Indigenous culture, was spotted by Channel 7 News assisting with LNP Redcliffe candidate Kerri-Anne Dooley’s campaign.
Last year he was one of three members of Young LNP suspended over a Schoolies video posted online in which he said: “I mean, we’ve got to stop celebrating a culture that couldn’t even invent the bloody wheel for God’s sake — we’ve got to start enjoying and living in Western culture.”