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Newman asks for patience

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman.
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman. Chris Ison

PREMIER Campbell Newman has asked for Queenslanders to be "patient" after an APN poll showed a majority of voters were less than impressed with the government's first five months in office.

The online survey, which attracted almost 6000 replies from throughout regional Queensland, showed 65% of people thought the Newman government had performed below expectations.

Of the people who voted in the Liberal National Party at the March 24 election, 46% thought the Government's performance had been worse than expected.

It was the latest in a string of polls showing support for the Newman government had waned considerably since it won 78 of 89 seats in the Queensland Parliament.

Asked if he was concerned about the results of the survey, Mr Newman said he was committed to doing "what's right for Queensland".

"Please be patient and bear with us while we make these tough decisions to sort out the mess left by Labor," Mr Newman said in a direct pitch to Queenslanders.

An overwhelming majority of respondents (68%) also described Mr Newman as being "arrogant", a view shared by 42% of LNP voters.

In commenting on the results, Griffith academic Dr Paul Williams said the arrogance issue would be sounding alarm bells for LNP strategists.

But if Mr Newman was concerned by the results, he was not letting on.

"It's not about me or the cabinet, it's about what's right for Queensland to undertake the reform process and get the state back on track," he said.

The survey pointed to widespread anger over the significant public sector job cuts announced since the LNP swept to power.

In acknowledging the cuts had been unpopular, Mr Newman apologised to the many public servants who had lost their jobs.

But he said the government was committed to austerity measures as it worked to get the state's debt under control.

"This is a difficult period, I understand that, and I am really sorry about the public servants who are losing their jobs, but we're making the tough decisions to fix the financial mess left by Labor as quickly as we can so we have more money in the future to spend on frontline services, like teachers, nurses, police, ambulance officers, roads and schools."

Asked if there would be any sweeteners in next week's Queensland Budget to placate angry voters, particularly in rural and regional areas, Mr Newman would not provide any details other than to say it would be a "budget for Queensland's future".

"After many years of the Queensland government living beyond its means, this budget will set Queensland finances on the road to recovery," he said.

"In that respect, it is the most important budget in a generation." Opposition Deputy Leader Tim Mulherin said the results of the survey were proof people in regional Queensland did not respect Mr Newman.

More than half (56%) thought the Newman government would be worse for regional and rural Queensland.

Mr Mulherin said the public sector sackings, which he claimed were not flagged before the election, had fuelled the anti-government sentiment in the regions.

"The APN poll shows people in rural and regional areas have seen the real arrogance of Campbell Newman and the LNP and they don't like either of them," Mr Mulherin said in a statement.

"They see the twisted priorities of a Premier who slashes and burns jobs and services in rural and regional centres while constantly fussing over plans for a new executive building for himself and his ministers in the Brisbane CBD."

Topics:  campbell newman



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