Qld Premier Campbell Newman says his reform agenda has been worthwhile despite polls suggesting otherwise.
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman says the Liberal National Party’s reform agenda has at times been difficult, but is in the state’s best interest.
Despite dire polls, an upbeat premier made no apologies during his 30-minute address to the LNP’s annual convention on Sunday.
Mr Newman admitted there had been some arguments along the way but said the government wouldn’t be backing down.
“Only the LNP has a strong plan for the state, and we will continue to stick to that plan because it is the right plan for Queensland,” he said.
“Reform is difficult.
“But every single thing that we have done is about making this a better state.”
After riding to power in 2012 with unprecedented popularity, support for the LNP has dwindled to a dangerous low.
Up to 40 of its MPs could be booted in the 2015 election, including the premier.
The dramatic turn around has been blamed in part on rolling out too much too soon.
Mr Newman said after 14 years in opposition, the LNP were impatient to sort out Labor’s mess.
“We didn’t want to wait 10 years for those benefits to kick in, and that’s why we embarked on a program of strong reform and why Queensland is now benefiting from that strong plan.”
There was no naval gazing in the premier’s speech nor any new policies.
Instead, achievements were rehashed, such as reduced hospital waiting times, job creation and an increase in tourism numbers.
The more divisive policies – the overhaul of the corruption watchdog, public service job losses, judicial changes and anti-bikie legislation – were not mentioned.
The premier left the stage cheered on by three hip hip hoorays from the hundreds of party faithful at the Brisbane event.
The three-day annual convention is chance for the LNP’s 14,000 state members to vote on what policies to adopt and gives and indication of the direction the government may choose to head.
Members voted to urge Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie to consider allowing juries to view an accused’s criminal record.
The Core Skills Test and the five cent coin should also be scrapped.
Some controversial motions were blocked, such as legalising pepper spray, selling parts of the ABC and winding the clock forward by 30 minutes.