Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has hit back at Annastacia Palaszczuk, accusing the Queensland Premier of “grandstanding and petty politicking” over her call to extend JobKeeper.
Ms Palaszczuk branded Mr Frydenberg “completely out of touch” over issues affecting Queenslanders as the federal government stands firm on a plan to end its JobKeeper payment by the end of the month.
But Mr Frydenberg has hit back in an editorial for The Courier Mail, accusing the Queensland Premier of “grandstanding and petty politicking”.
“The reality is the Morrison government has already delivered to Queenslanders more than three times the amount of economic support than the Palaszczuk government has committed to,” he wrote.
“No amount of grandstanding and petty politicking by the Queensland Premier will detract from the indisputable fact that when it comes to the economic response in Queensland, the Morrison government has done the bulk of the heavy lifting.”
Ms Palaszczuk warned on Monday that one-in-20 Queenslanders would be cut off from support when JobKeeper ended, claiming “Queensland is not getting a fair go from Canberra”.
But Mr Frydenberg said Queensland had provided the lowest level of economic support of any state or territory since COVID-19 began.
He said the Palaszczuk government had spent just 2 per cent of gross state product on support compared with 9 per cent in Victoria and 7 per cent in NSW.
“Unfortunately for Queenslanders, when it comes to the level of state government support, this is one State of Origin contest their government doesn’t win,” he said.
Queensland’s tourism industry has been slow to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, with no clear date for the reopening of international borders.
Ms Palaszczuk has consistently called for JobKeeper to be extended for the sector but said those demands “had fallen on deaf ears”.
But the federal government has said Queensland’s hardline border stance has prevented the industry filling the void with interstate travellers.
Mr Frydenberg said the next phase of Australia’s economic recovery would focus on hard-hit sectors but should not inhibit the broader rebound.
“Any further targeted support needs to be proportionate, temporary and accompanied by a clear exit strategy,” he said.
“These are the types of measures the Morrison government is currently considering.”
Mr Frydenberg stressed Queenslanders could still access a range of supports, including the JobMaker hiring credit, while Treasury modelling showed 2.3 million Queenslanders would receive income tax cuts in 2021.