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Mayor apologises for PM's bad press

AAP logoAAP 26/10/2016

The mayor of Rockhampton has personally apologised to Malcolm Turnbull after the local paper depicted the prime minister as a clown ahead of his visit to the region.

The Morning Bulletin on Thursday carries the headline "Stop Clowning Around Malcolm" and says it's time the prime minister got serious about giving Central Queensland a fair go.

"The thing that says we need help is real, but that image was inexcusable. So please accept our apology," mayor Margaret Strelow told local radio 4RO.

The newspaper insisted it didn't think Mr Turnbull is a clown.

But it noted the tactic worked for getting attention when Wallabies coach Michael Cheika reacted to a similar label a New Zealand newspaper imposed on him ahead of a Bledisloe Cup clash last week.

"We're sorry to put the pressure on. You must have thought a visit to the Sunshine State this week would have been smooth sailing," it says.

The paper says regional Australia is facing desperate times.

"Our people die earlier than your neighbours in Wentworth in Sydney. We are poorer, we have worse health outcomes and less employment opportunities.

"So far your government has failed to demonstrate it has a coherent plan to move the dial."

The paper notes there are a number of reasons Pauline Hanson's One Nation party is surging in the polls in the area.

"A lack of faith our people have that the two main parties will make a difference is a key one of those," it says.

"Regional Australians are desperate to find someone to give them a Fair Go. Are you the man for the job?"

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