Ex-premier blasts LNP successor for backing govt budget

Fraser Barton |

LNP Leader David Crisafulli (left) has been accused of ceding ground to Steven Miles’ government.
LNP Leader David Crisafulli (left) has been accused of ceding ground to Steven Miles’ government.

A former Queensland premier has lashed out at his old party for backing the Labor government’s upcoming budget, sight unseen, and labelled the move “insane”.

Campbell Newman slammed Liberal National Party leader David Crisafulli’s unprecedented stance ahead of the October election, saying he no longer recognised his former minister.

Mr Crisafulli has come under fire for committing to funding arrangements in the Labor government’s budget – to be unveiled next week – sight unseen.

“It’s insane, but more importantly though, it’s dishonest, it’s disingenuous,” former LNP leader Mr Newman told ABC Radio on Thursday.

Ex-premier Campbell Newman
Ex-LNP premier Campbell Newman is flabbergasted by David Crisafulli’s stance. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

“What you’re effectively doing is saying ‘not only are we just supporting the allocation of money, but we’re supporting the agenda of that government’.

“He essentially said ‘we support the Labor party’s agenda for Queensland’ and if that’s the case … well, there is no opposition.”

Queensland Premier Steven Miles said it was extraordinary his rival had endorsed the last budget before the state election when his own cabinet was yet to do so.

“He is absolutely determined to tie himself into the tiniest little ball of a small target so that people won’t see the risk associated with electing him,” Mr Miles said on Thursday. 

“He is effectively trying to say to Queenslanders you can have a Labor government just without the Labor Party.”

Mr Crisafulli said on Wednesday Queenslanders would want the next government to “continue with projects like that” when discussing the upcoming budget.

“If projects are underway, if they’re in the budget, they’re funded, those projects must continue,” he said.

Mr Crisafulli claimed this level of support for the 2024/25 budget was about creating stability and trust in government, regardless of the party heading it.

“If things are in the budget, they have to be honoured for the stability of the public service and for Queenslanders to have a sense of trust,” he said.

But Mr Newman said it was an argument based on fear.

He said the opposition, and particularly Mr Crisafulli, could not avoid being a target in the lead-up to the October 26 state election and must show their policy hand.

“What you have to do is you have to actually say ‘this is what we did that was good, this is the stuff that we probably shouldn’t have done, but this is the LNP’s agenda’,” he said.

Mr Newman won government in 2012 in one of Australia’s most-lopsided election results.

Mr Crisafulli was a minister in his three-year government.

One term premier Mr Newman said he no longer recognised his former colleague, accusing him of going against the policy decisions of his federal counterparts, particularly on nuclear power. 

David Crisafulli
According to the opinion polls, David Crisafulli could become the next premier of Queensland. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

“I don’t know who the guy is anymore. I don’t know what he stands for, I don’t know what his vision is for Queensland,” he said.

“I just ask David Crisafulli to go and look in the mirror, decide if you really want to do this job, walk out tomorrow morning and actually lead – show Queensland that you are a guy who is capable of taking this state forward.”