Premier Campbell Newman has tried to reset the rules of engagement for the final week of the Queensland election campaign.
Mr Newman’s election campaign in recent days has been sidetracked by his claims that Labor is being backed by criminal bikie gangs.
But the premier wouldn’t utter a word on the issue on Monday.
He says the final week of the campaign will be about the Liberal National Party’s (LNP) plans to boost jobs and the economy.
“That’s what this election campaign is really all about,” Mr Newman said after attending a citizenship ceremony in Ashgrove.
“Queenslanders get to make the choice in a few days time about who is best able to run Queensland to create jobs and to deliver opportunity. That is, of course, the LNP.”
He also promised to release full costings for the LNP’s policies.
But the premier side-stepped every question that wasn’t related to his plans for jobs and the economy.
Mr Newman was asked about indigenous Australians, Prince Philip’s knighthood, alleged pork-barrelling in his electorate, his rival Labor’s Kate Jones, industrial relations laws and Labor’s alleged links to bikies.
But instead of answering specific questions he continued to repeat lines over and over again about the LNP’s strong policies and said Labor did not have a plan.
Towards the end of his press conference, one frustrated journalist asked if the media may as well be asking him the weather, as he wasn’t going to answer any other questions.
“I will talk throughout this campaign in the days that remain about how this team will deliver a stronger economy, more jobs, opportunity for Queensland, particularly young Queenslanders,” he said.
When the same journalist told the premier he should answer questions about issues other than just jobs and the economy, he replied: “What I need to answer to Queenslanders is the particular issue of who will create jobs”.
Mr Newman’s strategy to ignore all other issues was challenged later in the day when The Wilderness Society’s campaign manager for Queensland, Dr Tim Seelig, tried to present the premier with the “Golden Dump Truck Award”.
The award, which The Wilderness Society has tried to present to Mr Newman on previous occasions, is designed to highlight what they say are the LNP’s poor environmental policies.
Dr Seelig tried to give the award to an Akubra-wearing Mr Newman while he was flipping sausages at a community barbecue in his Ashgrove electorate.
A police officer warned Dr Seelig not to approach the premier.