Labor attacks CQ credentials of the potential PM Dutton
WITH the dethroning of Australia's Prime Minister almost inevitable today, Labor has launched an attack against the CQ credentials of possible successor Peter Dutton.
If Malcolm Turnbull steps aside as expected today, the scene is set for a showdown between Treasurer Scott Morrison, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, and former Home Affairs Minister Mr Dutton and any other challengers who throw their hat into the ring.
Mr Dutton's hard-line approach is regarded by many conservatives as a remedy to prevent votes leaking to One Nation and prevent an LNP electoral wipe out to Central Queensland's marginal seats.
Keen to get the word on the man touted to be the LNP's saviour for CQ, the Labor Party trawled through finance travel reports, IPEA travel reports, transcripts on Parlinfo run by the Parliamentary Library and key word searches of Mr Dutton's Twitter account to prove he has never visited Rockhampton in an official capacity in the 17 years in the Australian Parliament or 14 years as a government minister.
Labor candidate for Capricornia Russell Robertson latched onto the research findings saying it was an "absolute disgrace that the bloke who wants to be Prime Minister couldn't even bring himself to visit Rocky in over a decade".
"The fact that he's spent 930 per cent more time in Sydney and Melbourne then in regional Queensland says everything we need to know about this out-of-touch city slicker," Mr Robertson said.
"Dutton's record on Central Queensland jobs is horrendous. This is the man who wanted to impose a GP tax every time you wanted to visit the doctors.
"As Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton allowed hundreds of 457 workers to flood our region and take jobs from locals."
While Liberal MPs are sitting in Canberra fighting with themselves, Mr Robertson said he was in Capricornia talking to local voters about what concerns them, with many worried about the cuts to local jobs, hospitals and schools that could come with Mr Dutton as prime minister.
"It doesn't matter who the Liberals eventually pick in their civil war. They are too consumed with each other and they aren't focused on the needs of Australians," he said.
"The people of Central Queensland are sick and tired of this chaos. They want a stable government prepared to actually take action and address real problems like labour hire, or health and education funding.
"Labor is ready to serve. I'm ready to serve the people of Capricornia. It's time the voters were given a say."
Federal Labor Leader Bill Shorten said Australians were sick of the LNP civil war and wanted politicians to focus on what matters.
"I've spent a fair bit of time in Rocky and families are telling me they feel like the economy isn't working for them - everything is going up except wages," Mr Shorten said.
"I lead a united team - we are 100 per cent focused on the Australian people, not on ourselves.
"Labor is working hard on our policies to deliver a fair go for all Australians - restoring penalty rates, reversing hospital cuts, funding our schools."
From his time in Rockhampton, Labor Senator for Queensland Murray Watt said Central Queenslanders didn't care much for pollies who spent more time talking about themselves than CQ jobs.
"If Peter Dutton had bothered to visit Rocky in the past decade, he would know Central Queenslanders care about secure jobs, penalty rates and proper funding for schools and hospitals," Senator Watt said.
"Michelle Landry has a lot of faith in a person that clearly has no faith in her or Central Queensland. It's about time they were both voted out."
Mr Dutton's office failed to respond by deadline.