Malcolm Turnbull is set for a testy showdown with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk after weeks of sparring.
The prime minister and the Labor premier will meet on Thursday morning for the first time since Ms Palaszczuk sparked a war of words before the federal budget.
After initially branding Mr Turnbull "worse than Tony Abbott" she has gone on to attack him and his government over Cyclone Debbie disaster assistance and overlooking Brisbane's Cross River Rail project in the budget.
They will meet face-to-face in Brisbane in a gathering made more awkward by Mr Turnbull's latest swipes.
At an LNP lunch on Wednesday he endorsed opposition leader Tim Nicholls as next premier as expected but said a Liberal National government was "critical" to managing the state's economy.
"We want them to win it and take this great state, with our support and our partnership, to the much brighter future it deserves," Mr Turnbull said.
Queensland's election is not due until May 2018 but is widely tipped to be called later this year.
Ms Palaszczuk, who has a clear lead in the polls, has continued to lobby the Commonwealth to match its $850 million commitment to start initial works on the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project.
The federal government instead announced a multibillion-dollar national rail program, which could be used to fund the project but not until 2019 at the earliest.
Mr Turnbull on Wednesday again criticised the plan, saying the federal government "wasn't an ATM".
"We need to be investing more and treating these taxpayer dollars with more respect so that we get the maximum output from it, rather than just treating the Commonwealth government like a cash dispenser machine," he told reporters.
Ms Palaszczuk, who was in north Queensland inspecting work on a new solar farm, said she was "bitterly disappointed" by the ATM comment.
"The whole 2000-page business case has gone to Malcolm Turnbull and the federal government," she said.
"I suggest Malcolm Turnbull pick up the phone and speak to his (infrastructure) minister to confirm whether he has the business case. In fact, it has been there for over a year."
Deputy Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington called on the state government to publicly release the business case for Cross River Rail to show people the viability of the project.
"If the business case stacks up, why not release it," she said in a statement.
"It's simply not good enough for the Palaszczuk Labor government to release just a five-page summary for what it claims is its No.1 infrastructure project."
The government maintains it cannot release the full business case because of commercial-in-confidence considerations, although a spokesperson said the summary was more than any government had released at this stage of development.