Premier struggles to remember her own candidate's name

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk struggles to remember her Condamine candidate's name


Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk inspects the Olam grain processing facility at Mt Tyson on Queensland's Darling Downs. Photo: AAP

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk inspects the Olam grain processing facility at Mt Tyson on Queensland's Darling Downs. Photo: AAP

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Annastacia Palaszczuk struggled to remember the name of her Condamine candidate when she visited the Darling Downs.

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Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has struggled to remember the name of her Labor candidate for the extremely safe LNP seat of Condamine, marking a rocky start to day 10 of the campaign.

Keen to prove she understood the pulse of regional Queensland, Ms Palaszczuk visited a chickpea packing business in Mount Tyson on the Darling Downs in the electorate of Condamine, which has a margin of 17.1 per cent.

But her candidate for Condamine, Brendon Huybregts, was absent, and instead the Premier was flanked by acting Agriculture Minister Anthony Lynham and Toowoomba North candidate Kerry Shine.

Asked by Fairfax Media where her Condamine candidate was on Tuesday, Ms Palaszczuk said he could not get time off work to attend the morning site tour and then press conference.

“Unfortunately he can’t be here today because he’s actually at work and he couldn’t get leave from work to be here today,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk walks around the Olam grain processing facility at Mt Tyson. Photo: AAP

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk walks around the Olam grain processing facility at Mt Tyson. Photo: AAP

Asked for his name, Ms Palaszczuk said: “Brendon”.

Asked for his surname, Ms Palaszczuk replied “Um, um, I’ve got it here”, but as she went to check her notes, a local journalist helpfully started spelling out his surname.

Asked what the candidate did for work the premier answered: “Oh look, I don’t, I’ll find that out for you.

"But he can’t get leave from work, so I understand that candidates do actually work and it is hard during a campaign to take time off if you are in full-time work, and that’s the same across all parties,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“I’ve got Kerry here, so we do have some of our Labor candidates here.”

It is understood Mr Huybregts was endorsed three days ago. He also ran for the seat of Condamine for Labor in 2015.

In September, Ms Palaszczuk conceded her candidate for Nanango, another electorate in the South Burnett region, Ben Rankin, running in the seat which had a margin of 13.3 per cent, had little chance of snagging the seat from the LNP.

On Tuesday, Ms Palaszczuk announced $19 million in funding for the agricultural portfolio.

The funding includes an extra $5 million over two years for wild dog cluster fencing, $10 million for a Rural Economic Development Grant program and $1 million for research and development to support the rapidly expanding chickpea and pulses industry and low-interest loans for silo construction.

This story first appeared on Brisbane Times.

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