ON HUSTINGS: Australian PM Scott Morrison met with staff and workers at  AusProof.
ON HUSTINGS: Australian PM Scott Morrison met with staff and workers at AusProof. Matt Taylor GLA260419MORR

PM's visit firms Flynn as an election battleground

MP KEN O'Dowd stands for coal, and Scott Morrison is standing right there beside him.

That was the clear message from the Australian Prime Minister who visited Gladstone today to reiterate his party's plan for protecting Central Queensland jobs and the local economy.

Mr Morrison met with workers at manufacturing plant AusProof where he outlined funding for local CQ infrastructure projects, doubled down on his party's regional and rural apprentice scheme and attacked Labor's "reckless” emissions targets.

Producing a "hit list” of companies in Central Queensland that will be affected by Bill Shorten's Labor policies, Mr Morrison heaped pressure on Labor to outline how they would reach their carbon emissions targets.

He said work was being done to understand the energy supply needs for Central and North Queensland.

"We've committed $10million to that fund to ensure specific proposals and other proposals can be assessed to meet those needs,” Mr Morrison said.

"Where we're standing today is a business that depends on the mining industry here in CQ and the other thing we will do is ensure we have responsible targets to reduce carbon emissions in Australia.

"Our climate solutions fund covers off tonne by tonne how we get to that mark, (and) already we've demonstrated out ability to meet our target.”

The Prime Minister confirmed his party's target of 26 per cent would be met while claiming Labor's target of 1.3billion tonnes of carbon emissions by 2030 would lower the boom on companies forcing them to buy carbon credits from overseas.

His visit comes as Flynn continues to firm as an election battleground following Tuesday's visit from Labor Leader Bill Shorten and Thursday's from One Nation Leader Pauline Hanson.

Labor released its Climate Change policy earlier this month which identified ways it would reach its 45 per cent emissions reduction target on 2005 levels, without endangering businesses.

"A policy to reduce carbon emissions is going to hit right in the midriff of Central Queensland and it's going to put jobs at risk and it's not a sound plan for the economy of CQ,” Mr Morrison said.

The Prime Minister also used his visit to Gladstone to announce the party's $60million commitment to support apprentices through the regional and rural apprentices scheme. Mr Morrison said the program had been "oversubscribed” with funding increases providing incentives for businesses to take on apprentices and provide a boost to young people and those switching jobs.

"(It's) making sure companies like this one can take some new apprentices on and have the incentive in place to take them through,” he said.

"As their experience and ability to contribute to the business picks up, the business is able to take on more of the wage as they go from year two to year three.”

On Tuesday, Bill Shorten reiterated Labor's promise to increase the minimum wage, promoted their 'same job, same pay' policy and discussed plans to replace the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility with their own Northern Australian Development Fund.



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