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Neck and neck in Queensland campaign -

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ELEANOR HALL: In Queensland the election campaigning has only just begun, and already both the
Government and the Opposition are dealing with unwanted distractions from within.

And then there's the talk of Pauline Hanson entering the fray.

In Brisbane, Annie Guest reports.

ANNIE GUEST: When Anna Bligh took over from the self-described media tart, Peter Beattie, she vowed
her style would be different.

But the similarities are obvious, with State Parliament seemingly among her few public appearances
without a hard hat.

Speaking to Radio National's Fran Kelly, Anna Bligh brushed aside harsh criticism on this from a
veteran Queensland newspaper journalist.

FRAN KELLY: He had a big crack at you in the Australian saying quote 'Queenslanders will
collectively puke if there's one more photograph of Bligh wearing a hard hat', have you taken too
many leaves out of Peter Beattie's media tart book?

ANNA BLIGH: Well Fran, this is a question for the Queensland people and they'll have the
opportunity to decide.

ANNIE GUEST: There's also criticism closer to home.

The chief of the Queensland Government owned investment corporation, called QIC, has rebuked the
Premier's argument that calling an early election will give business confidence to invest.

In this scratchy recording, Dr Doug McTaggart mocked the notion to the Queensland Media Club
yesterday.

DOUG MCTAGGART: You can't find evidence that things like elections have an impact. I think it would
be a very foolhardy business and whoever runs that business, owners or directors, to think about
basing their economic decision making or business decision making on the outcome of an election.

ANNIE GUEST: Dr McTaggart was the head of the Treasury Department under the Borbidge Coalition
government.

Anna Bligh disputed the claims, citing support from an industry group and miners.

ANNA BLIGH: Well I think business is like everywhere else you'll find differences of opinion, the
Australian Industry Group, and Queensland Resources Council have come out publicly saying they
think it is time for certainty and backed my decision.

ANNIE GUEST: The Opposition has also struggled for clear air as the election campaign gets under
way.

The merged Liberals and Nationals made a major health policy pitch yesterday, promising to scrap
Labor's controversial plan for a single children's hospital.

But news of one of its own turning Independent won far more media coverage.

And the LNP's billionaire backer Clive Palmer also continues headlines; he's suing the Premier and
Treasurer over comments about his political support.

The Treasurer Andrew Fraser is associating him with the Bjelke-Peterson era.

ANDREW FRASER: Mr Palmer needs to understand that this is Queensland 2009, not Queensland of the
1980s when the National Party government that he was a backer of, regularly used threats of
intimidation and defamation to try and stifle public debate, to try and impinge on free speech and
to try and influence election outcomes.

ANNIE GUEST: Earlier this month Clive Palmer described the Opposition leader Lawrence Springborg as
lacking charisma but the right person to run the state.

Yesterday he called a media conference that was later cancelled; the LNP denied scuttling it.

And the Government has pounced on news that Pauline Hanson will run in the election, saying it will
pose a difficult decision preferencing decision for the LNP.

Friends of the former One Nation leader, turned real estate agent, turned TV personality, turned
political candidate, says she'll run as an Independent on Brisbane's outskirts.

The Premier Anna Bligh is scathing.

ANNA BLIGH: Most Queenslanders will be groaning this morning at this news, and I think increasingly
Queenslanders understand the very damaging effect that Pauline Hanson and One Nation had, not only
on Queensland's international reputation, but on Australia's.

ANNIE GUEST: Pauline Hanson is yet to confirm the news that she is again running for office.

ELEANOR HALL: Annie Guest in Brisbane.