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One Nation 'puts jobs at risk': Qld govt

AAP logoAAP 30/08/2016 Jamie McKinnell

Queensland Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls is jeopardising future Asia-Pacific jobs and trade by not ruling out a preference deal with the One Nation party, the government claims.

Health minister Cameron Dick and tourism minister Kate Jones both took aim at Mr Nicholls in parliament on Tuesday after he last week ducked questions on whether he would support a preference deal.

Mr Nicholls instead insisted it was a matter for the party executive, but Liberal National Party (LNP) president Gary Spence indicated the party may preference One Nation higher than Labor.

Mr Dick said Mr Nicholls was incapable of standing up to his party.

"He is sending a message to the rest of the world that we accept the principles and policies of One Nation," Mr Dick said.

"We know in the LNP the right hand doesn't know what the far right hand is doing."

Labor has committed to preferencing One Nation last.

Ms Jones said the economic future of Queensland was "intrinsically linked" to its relationship with Asia, pointing out Lawrence Springborg ruled out One Nation preference deals.

"From the leafy suburbs of Ascot (Mr Nicholls) is happy to sell his soul out to get into bed with One Nation to do dirty deals," she said.

Mr Nicholls later said Ms Jones was "screeching across the chamber in her usual banshee fashion", before the comment was ruled unparliamentary by Speaker Peter Wellington.

Mr Nicholls withdrew the comment, re-wording his description as "high-pitched".

But he said the Labor party had no moral high ground because it had introduced compulsory preferential voting on 18 minutes' notice earlier in the year.

That move will favour the government at the next election.

"Now they come in here today ... and piously claim a holier-than-thou position on no foundations whatsoever," Mr Nicholls said.

He accused the government of "getting into bed with extreme Greens" to save seats such as Deputy Premier Jackie Trad's electorate and demanded the voting changes be reversed.

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