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Nicholls denies copycat move

LNP State Leader Tim Nicholls has released his policy, dubbed ‘Buy Local’.
LNP State Leader Tim Nicholls has released his policy, dubbed ‘Buy Local’. Lyndon Mechielsen - The Australian

THE LNP has released its own procurement policy to rival Labor's 'Buy Queensland' policy as the pre-election campaign continues across the state.

LNP Leader Tim Nicholls this morning released his policy, dubbed 'Buy Local'.

He denied it was a copycat move, saying it would not offend any free trade agreements like Labor's does but insisted it would still mean more local jobs.

"It's a real policy that will deliver real benefits," he said.

Labor's policy came under fire after Premier Annastacia Palasczcuk revealed she was changing the definition of local under her procurement policy to ensure it gave Queensland companies priority, putting the policy in conflict with a free trade agreement with New Zealand.

Mr Nicholls said he would work with the Commonwealth to find a way to ensure NZ companies were not given priority for major contracts of $100 million or more, instead.

"On Government projects under $100 million, whether that's desks gor a school or building a new road, we will give only true Queensland firms a price match guarantee," Mr Nicholls said.

"If a local business that's headquartered in Queensland and has a workforce in the project area matches the lowest bid, they'll get the job."

Mr Nicholls said local businesses would still have to adhere to the "same quality and service standards" but the price match would enable them to get a look-in for jobs they might otherwise not be able to compete for.

The LNP leader said its policy would generate jobs but also wouldn't start a "phoney trade war with New Zealand" like the government's had.

Both protectionist policies come as the major parties attempt to shore up their base against a resurgent One Nation.

Mr Nicholls' comments come as he told reporters he voted yes for same-sex marriage, in what he called a difficult decision.

Topics:  buy local editors picks qldelection2017 tim nicholls

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