Unions and the opposition say Queensland’s premier resorted to attacking them with name calling because he can’t handle the public outcry against him.

Unions and the Queensland opposition say a tirade levelled at them by Campbell Newman shows the state’s premier is cracking under pressure.

Mr Newman labelled Electrical Trades Union representatives “liars and grubs” on Monday amid the union’s concerted attack against his government over privatisation plans.

He then went on to describe Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk as “hollow and vacuous”, citing a lack of policies and a refusal to condemn unions for “shouting obscenities” at him and his cabinet.

Ms Palaszczuk says the comments were “water off a duck’s back” but showed how much pressure Mr Newman was under defending his government’s budget.

“If he wants to resort to those personal attacks, I think it says volumes of the man,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters.

“I think obviously this is a man who is cracking under the pressure.”

ETU organiser Stuart Traill echoed Ms Palaszczuk, saying he wore Mr Newman’s attack as a badge of honour.

“What it does is it gives us a little bit of hope that we are starting to rattle them,” Mr Traill told AAP.

Mr Traill denied the protest on the Sunshine Coast on Sunday, outside the community cabinet meeting, was anything but a peaceful demonstration from people concerned about jobs and electricity prices.

Mr Newman’s comments came after ETU delegates referred to him as a “coward” for refusing to face them during the demonstration.

Mr Newman responded by saying he was sick of having to walk past “that group of grubs” with his wife, Lisa.

“All they do is shout out obscenities all the time as well as their lies about privatisation,” he told reporters on Monday.

“It is time for them to clean up their act.

“It’s time for Annastacia Palaszczuk to condemn them as the grubs and liars that they are.”

The opposition has accused Mr Newman of hiding since the controversial appointment of incoming chief justice Tim Carmody a week-and-a-half ago.

Mr Newman said he was sick of the opposition’s nonsense.

“This is a leader of the opposition who is hollow and vacuous and has no policies, has no plans,” he said.

“It is time for the best resourced opposition the state has ever seen to actually come up with some policies and some plans, stop telling porkies, stop playing stupid political games and tell Queenslanders what their vision will be for the state.”

Ms Palaszczuk said the opposition had already released several policies, including on how to tackle alcohol-fuelled violence, and would release more as it saw fit.