'Don't bully me': Queensland premier heckled by volunteer at polling booth

Australian Associated Press
·3-min read

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has been heckled by a Liberal National Party volunteer and challenged by her rival candidate to reopen Queensland's borders while voting in Brisbane.

Ms Palaszczuk was speaking to reporters after casting her ballot in her south Brisbane electorate of Inala, which she holds by 26.1 per cent, on Saturday morning.

"I've been overwhelmed, everyone's been coming up saying thank you for keeping us safe and that's been my number one priority to look after Queenslanders," she told them, referring to her COVID-19 response.

"Today's a really important day and it's about Queenslanders making a choice. It's about who they want to be the premier to actually lead the state, so that's the important choice they have to make."

Annastacia Palaszczuk pointing in the direction of the volunteer who heckled her.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yelled right back at the LNP booth worker who heckled her on Saturday. Source: AAP

Then, as the TV cameras continued to roll, an LNP volunteer started shouting that she should open the borders.

"Consider the travel industry, 209,000 people out of work premier. Consider the people that I employ, it's about time to open the borders," the man named John yelled.

"Don't bully me," he screamed at red-shirted Labor volunteers surrounding him.

The premier turned and gestured towards the angry heckler.

"Oh here you go, that's exactly what the LNP want, they want the borders opened. There, you've heard it exactly today," Ms Palaszczuk said.

LNP candidate Mijenka Perovic didn't interrupt or taunt the Labor leader but also called for the borders to be reopened.

LNP booth worker shown yelling at Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
This LNP booth worker heckled the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk after she voted. Source: AAP

She said LNP leader Deb Frecklington would reopen the borders if elected premier to restart the tourism sector.

"Absolutely, Deb will do everything. We need jobs, we need to open the borders, because we need to get Queensland moving again," Ms Perovic said.

"Tourism, it's nothing happening; our small businesses are the backbone of our country so they need to get back working. We need tourism moving.

"Give me a chance, vote me one today and we will do that."

Earlier, Ms Palaszczuk was on the hustings in the marginal northern Brisbane seat of Aspley, while Ms Frecklington voted in Townsville before heading to the state capital.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison also made a polling day pitch to Queenslanders to vote for the sake of Australia, not just their state.

In a clear swipe at Labor's border closure, Mr Morrison said Australia needs the Sunshine State's help.

"We can't afford to keep Queensland in neutral, we need to be able to move ahead," he said in a social media message posted on Saturday.

"Australia needs Queensland to return to the powerhouse state it once was."

Queensland will open the border to regional NSW on Tuesday but Sydney and Victoria remain banned.

The prime minister said Ms Frecklington has a better plan to lead Queensland's economic recovery.

"For Australia to win, Queensland needs to win," he added.

Queensland's polling booths close at 6pm.

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