Peter Dutton speaks at the conference.
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has rallied the party faithful at a Queensland gathering of the LNP. Image by Russell Freeman/AAP PHOTOS
  • politics

Prime minister ridiculed as LNP eyes state prize

July 6, 2024

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has ridiculed the prime minister’s confidence that things will improve for Australians, as he declared the federal and state coalition parties are in a strong position to win government.

Mr Dutton detailed his party’s ambitions in a speech to the annual Queensland LNP convention on Saturday when he championed his state counterpart David Crisafulli, ahead of the October state poll, and attacked Anthony Albanese’s record.

In an interview with News Corp, Mr Albanese said “it is going to get better” for struggling Australians thanks to Labor’s “short-term cost-of-living relief that’s immediate in a way that makes the economy in the medium term better”.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton
 Peter Dutton used his speech to mock an interview Anthony Albanese gave to News Corp. Image by Russell Freeman/AAP PHOTOS 

But Mr Dutton said the prime minister had “no positive message” to convey after two years in government, as a federal election looms in 2025.

He pointed to the failed voice referendum, repeating his argument that the proposal had no detail, and Labor’s 2022 election “promise” to cut household electricity bills by $275. 

Labor put a timeframe on that forecast, saying its Powering Australia policy would lower household electricity bills by $275 by 2025.

“The prime minister now is telling us that there are better times ahead, even though every credible economic analyst in the country is saying interest rates are likely to go up again for the 13th and 14th time,” Mr Dutton said.

“He can’t give you the detail about how he will make things improve.”

The federal coalition is in a strong position to win the next election with a back-to-basics economic plan and a plan for record investment in nuclear energy capability, Mr Dutton argued.

“We are credible, we have momentum that we’re putting pressure onto a bad government (and) we are a united team,” he told the party faithful in Brisbane.

David Crisafulli (left) with federal Opposition Leader Peter Dutton
 Queensland Opposition Leader David Crisafulli could be the state’s next premier. Image by Russell Freeman/AAP PHOTOS 

Federal Nationals leader David Littleproud also addressed the convention on Saturday and contrasted the coalition’s plan for nuclear power stations to Labor’s renewable energy policies.

“We’re taking the courageous position, Peter Dutton and I, to give Australians an alternative way, an alternative way to ensure their future, not for the next 15 years, while a (wind) turbine lasts, but for the next 80 to 100 years. That’s vision,” he said.

Mr Crisafulli has repeatedly said nuclear energy isn’t part of his party’s plans, despite the federal coalition’s promotion of the technology.

Mr Dutton also praised his Queensland state counterpart, describing Mr Crisafulli as a thoughtful and practical leader.

“We can achieve government because (Queenslanders) respect a leader who has not only demonstrated a plan to end their despair, but a leader who has a vision to revitalise the state,” Mr Dutton said.

“David hit the nail on the head in his recent budget reply speech when he said Queensland is gripped by four major crises: a cost of living crisis, a youth crime crisis, a health crisis, and a housing crisis.”

Some 900 delegates are attending the convention and LNP delegates have had 173 policy items to discuss across the three-day event, which began on Friday.

Mr Crisafulli will address the faithful on Sunday.