Power prices, debt on LNP budget agenda

Queensland LNP leader Deb Frecklington says her party will focus on bringing down the state's debt.
Queensland LNP leader Deb Frecklington says her party will focus on bringing down the state's debt.

Queensland Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington has promised to pay down the state's increasing debt and reclaim the triple-A credit rating in her budget reply speech.

However the Liberal National Party leader has failed to provide details on Thursday about exactly how that would happen, instead outlining an economic plan focusing on broader measures to improve the state's economy.

Ms Frecklington said the state budget handed down on Tuesday - with a record $45.8 billion-worth of infrastructure spending over four years and debt rising to $83 billion over the same period - would leave the state in dire circumstances.

"I can assure Queenslanders that the LNP will make stabilising debt a fiscal principle," Ms Frecklington said.

"And once we stabilise Labor's debt, we will start to repay the debt. But the LNP knows there is no quick fix for this problem."

Labor Treasurer Jackie Trad has defended the debt level, saying it was a manageable 10 per cent of the state's total economic output.

Ms Frecklington also announced an LNP government would allow competition into the regional Queensland retail energy market, which is currently serviced solely by Ergon.

Premier Annastasia Palaszczuk said it was a "pie in the sky"

"We haven't seen any evidence that that would work," Ms Palaszczuk told reporters following Ms Frecklington's speech.

"Queensland is a huge state, and it would be interesting to see whether retailers would be up to coming into areas, especially into the west and far north of our state."

Ms Frecklington also detailed her party's plan for a shift away from coal by mandating government-owned energy companies support renewable power generation, which she had previously announced.

"I promise Queenslanders that the LNP will plan for a future beyond coal," she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said she was astounded at the reversal of language from the LNP on renewables, after the opposition attacked her government's 50 per cent renewable energy target

"They have always been backing a new coal-fired power station in north Queensland, when we know the energy mix is changing and renewables are part of Queensland's future."

The state LNP has previously backed the federal government's 23 per cent RET.

Ms Frecklington also again took aim at the government's four "luxury" taxes and the waste levy, which are predicted to raise billions of dollars, ruling out any new taxes under a future LNP government.

THE LNP'S ECONOMIC PLAN

* Guarantee no new taxes

* Bust congestion

* Provide cheaper electricity

* Ensure better health and education services

* Deliver water security

Australian Associated Press