Emotional Qld premier defends euthanasia

Qld Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and LNP leader Deb Frecklington are taking part in another debate.
Qld Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and LNP leader Deb Frecklington are taking part in another debate.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has almost shed tears defending euthanasia after being accused of politicising the issue by Deb Frecklington.

The LNP leader told the Queensland Media Club leaders' debate on Friday that the right to die is one the most deeply personal issues anyone will ever face.

Ms Frecklington says no one should have to die in pain, but she personally advocates more palliative care.

She accused Ms Palaszczuk of politicising the issue in order to pick up the LNP-held seat of Currumbin.

"I won't politicise it like what has been happening in the last month ... which appears like it just been for the premier to secure Currumbin. I reject that absolutely," Ms Frecklington said.

The LNP leader said her rival should wait to read Queensland Law Reform Commission's euthanasia legislation before supporting it.

Ms Palaszczuk defended her decision to support voluntary-assisted dying and recounted how her grandmother died in pain in hospital during the pandemic.

The emotional premier said she was unable to visit her grandmother as she had meetings in the city that day, so she asked her mother to be with her when she died.

"I don't want anyone to have to go through that and I'm saying to Queenslanders, it is a personal matter for a family and the individual and the medical practitioners," the premier said.

"It is not for me to make the decision on behalf of them."

Ms Palaszczuk also defended her government's stimulus plans and $4 billion in borrowings despite state debt surpassing $102 billion this year.

She said the overwhelming consensus in national cabinet meetings was to spend to stimulate the economy.

"They have said to us, to every single person sitting in that national cabinet, now is the time to borrow," she said.

Ms Frecklington said that the LNP hadn't given up on debt, which is why they would rack up $2.3 billion less debt than Labor.

She said the best way to reduce debt was growing the economy with policies that improve business conditions like electricity subsidies.

"We haven't given up on the debt, we cannot, that would be giving up on the future of our children," the LNP leader said.

Ms Frecklington used her own question to the premier to attack her about integrity scandals that have clouded her government.

The premier retorted that there had never been any findings of corruption against her government.

Ms Palaszczuk asked the LNP leader about public sector job cuts under the former Newman government and her costings, which target public sector efficiencies.

But Ms Frecklington responded by calling out Labor's plans to make the health department more efficient.

In a lighter moment, Ms Frecklington asked the premier to rule out controversial former treasurer Jackie Trad's involvement in cabinet.

"Go Jackie," a union member yelled out, with the crowd erupting in laughter.

"How can Queenslanders trust you, given you are just a puppet for the unions," the LNP leader said.

Another union member replied: "We wish".

When asked to say something about they admire about each other, Ms Frecklington gave a humble response.

She said she respects anyone who stands up and works hard for their community.

"I definitely respect that and the Premier has been doing that in the Queensland parliament for 14 years on behalf of the community," she said.

Queensland polling day is on Saturday.

Australian Associated Press