Premier ducks political leaders forum in Toowoomba
PEAK lobby group Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise has announced the run sheet for its Political Leaders Series starting this month - but the most important name won't be making an appearance.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has revealed she will skip the series, in contrast to her opponents Tim Nicholls from the LNP and Steve Dickson from One Nation, who have signed up.
Ms Palaszczuk's place will instead be filled by State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham.
A spokesman told The Chronicle the Premier had a prior engagement that day.
"The Premier has pre-existing commitments including opening a health facility in Brisbane," he said.
"The Premier intends to travel to the region soon to listen to members of the business and wider community.
"Dr Lynham is the Minister for State Development and a former Shadow Minister for Agriculture and has a strong working knowledge of rural economies."
The series will also feature controversial Senator Pauline Hanson, who was invited by Mr Dickson as part of TSBE's offer for state members to bring a federal counterpart.
TSBE executive chairman Shane Charles said the sessions would focus on what each party could do for the Toowoomba region.
"It's really just advocacy for our region. There will be a state election coming up and we want to chat about that with our state leaders," he said.
"It's a political leaders function and we told them if they wanted to bring a federal counterpart, they could.
"One Nation are the only party that are bringing a federal counterpart.
"The nights are based around state-based issues, such as infrastructure, and we've got a number of infrastructure priorities we want to discuss."