Australia

'It's a personal matter': Annastacia Palaszczuk defends euthanasia stance at Queensland leaders debate

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has defended her stance on euthanasia. Source: AAP

The Queensland premier has pledged a parliamentary conscience vote on voluntary-assisted dying if she wins Saturday's state election.

An emotional Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has defended euthanasia after being accused by LNP leader Deb Frecklington of politicising the issue.

The premier has pledged a parliamentary conscience vote on voluntary-assisted dying if she wins Saturday's state election.

At the election leaders' debate on Friday, Ms Frecklington accused her of politicising the issue to pick up the LNP-held seat of Currumbin.

Many LNP-held coastal seats have a high proportion of senior voters.

The LNP leader says no one should have to die in pain, but she personally advocates improving palliative care.

"I won't politicise it like what has been happening in the last month ... which appears like it just been for the premier to secure Currumbin. I reject that absolutely," Ms Frecklington told the Queensland Media Club leaders' debate on Friday.

The LNP leader said MPs should wait to see the Queensland Law Reform Commission's euthanasia legislation before supporting it.

Ms Palaszczuk defended her euthanasia stance, speaking about how her grandmother died in pain in hospital during the pandemic.

"I don't want anyone to have to go through that and I'm saying to Queenslanders: it is a personal matter for a family and the individual and the medical practitioners," the premier said.

"It is not for me to make the decision on behalf of them."

Ms Palaszczuk defended Labor's stimulus spending and $4 billion in borrowings, despite state debt surpassing $102 billion this year.

She said the overwhelming consensus in national cabinet meetings was to spend to stimulate the economy.

"They have said to us, to every single person sitting in that national cabinet, now is the time to borrow," she said.

Ms Frecklington said the LNP hadn't given up on paying down debt and would rack up $2.3 billion less debt than Labor.

She said the best way to cut debt is growing the economy with policies that improve business conditions like electricity subsidies.

"We haven't given up on the debt, we cannot, that would be giving up on the future of our children," the LNP leader said.

Queensland state opposition leader Deb Frecklington.
Queensland state opposition leader Deb Frecklington.
AAP

Ms Frecklington used her question to attack her about integrity scandals that have clouded her government.

The premier said there had never been any finding of corruption against her government.

Ms Palaszczuk asked her rival about job cuts under the former Newman government and her plans to make the public sector more efficient.

The opposition leader then called out Labor's own plans to make the health department more efficient.

She also asked the premier to rule out controversial former treasurer Jackie Trad returning to cabinet.

"Go Jackie," a union member yelled out, with the crowd erupting in laughter.

"My job here is done," the LNP leader replied.

"How can Queenslanders trust you, given you are just a puppet for the unions."

Another union member replied, "We wish".

"How are those property developers going," Ms Palaszczuk replied, alluding a report into the LNP leader's controversial fundraisers, which were attended by banned property developers.

When asked to say something about they admire about each other, Ms Frecklington said she respects people who work hard for their community.

"I definitely respect that and the premier has been doing that in the Queensland parliament for 14 years on behalf of her community," she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said she respects Ms Frecklington for valuing a "strong family".

It's unlikely the debate, in which both leader recycled their campaign statements, will have much impact on the election.

The state's electoral commission said 60 per cent of voters of Queensland's 3.3 million voters had cast their ballots by Thursday night.

Queensland polling day is on Saturday. 

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