Drought-proofing Qld among LNP pledges

Darren Cartwright
Polling shows Queensland LNP leader Deb Frecklington is failing to win over marginal seat voters

LNP leader Deb Frecklington says she will not be 'bullied' by the party's "backroom boys' who are calling for a leadership change ahead of the October election.

On a day when she announced a bold plan to drought-proof Queensland with a dam that would irrigate an area larger than Tasmania, Ms Frecklington was defending her position.

She blamed nameless men for wanting her deposed and replaced by opposition tourism minister David Crisafulli before the October 31 election.

Leaked party polling on Sunday showed the LNP was trailing in key marginal seats it needed to win to form government.

"In relation to David Crisafulli, he's a hard-working member of my team...and I've got one message..I will not be bullied by the backroom boys of the LNP," Ms Frecklington told reporters.

"It is disappointing that there are a few blokes sitting in the backroom who want things to go back to the way they were.

"These people haven't even put their names to any of this leaking."

Deputy opposition leader Tim Mander stood beside Ms Frecklington as he pledged his support and said replacing her would be a backward step for the party.

Ms Frecklington has promised to deliver a budget and cancel the Christmas leave of senior public servants in the first 100 days if she wins office.

The Palaszczuk Labor government had planned to present an early budget in April, but that has now been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A YouGov poll last week placed the LNP ahead of Labor on a two-party preferred basis, but leaked internal party polling puts Labor ahead in key marginal seats. The LNP needs to gain nine seats to win government.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles was surprised to hear accusations of bullying within the LNP and called on Ms Frecklington to name those responsible.

He also said Mr Crusafulli was a member of Campbell Newman's one-term government (2012-15) which sacked thousands of public servants.

"He was not just a protege of Campbell Newman, he was a senior member of his government," he said.

Ms Frecklington on Sunday pushed the New Bradfield Scheme, the biggest dam in Australia, with a storage capacity of 28 Sydney harbours that would irrigate an area larger than Tasmania.

"It will deliver tens of thousands of new secure jobs, more water for farmers, enough hydro-electric power for 800,000 homes, and irrigate an area of outback Queensland larger than Tasmania," Ms Frecklington said in a statement.

"Projects like the New Bradfield Scheme will be funded from the LNP's Queensland Infrastructure Fund."

The scheme is based on a 1930s plan to divert floodwaters from the upper reaches of the Tully, Herbert and Burdekin rivers down to Lake Eyre, using dams, pumps and pipes.

The M1 duplication was rolled out by the LNP before the 2017 election under-then leader Tim Nichols.