News Politics Minister’s snap retirement rocks government just weeks from election

Minister’s snap retirement rocks government just weeks from election

Queensland Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham will retire at the upcoming state election. Photo: AAP/Dan Himbrechts
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Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham has joined Communities Minister Coralee O’Rourke in deciding not to recontest the October 31 Queensland election.

Mr Lynham, Labor’s two-term member for Stafford, told state parliament he could not continue to represent his constituents “100 per cent” while trying to maintain his registration as a maxillofacial surgeon.

“The people of Stafford, and indeed Queensland, deserve 100 per cent,” Mr Lynham said, opting to instead focus on his medical career.

Like Mr O’Rourke, the member for Mundingburra, Minister Lynham had denied retirement rumours and speculation of factional ructions in the days leading up to the announcement.

There is speculation State Development, Tourism and Innovation Minister Kate Jones might follow suit.

Mr Lynham chose to confirm his intentions on the last sitting day of parliament, already a raucous affair due to the debate over border restrictions and budget management during the pandemic.

Mr Lynham might have one last portfolio matter to deal with. Last week, he received the interim report from the Queensland Coal Mining Board of Inquiry, and has asked for advice on what information about safety issues he can release, and act on, without jeopardising “any potential future prosecutions”.

If Labor is re-elected, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will have to undertake her second Cabinet reshuffle in six months, after long-time deputy premier Jackie Trad stepped down in May.

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington led the attack on the Government in question time on Thursday, criticising the apparent contradictions in border exemption policies. Ms Palaszczuk again accused the LNP of politicising sensitive issues.

The LNP, in turn, copped an unanticipated barrage of complaints and allegations from former member Jason Costigan, who was disendorsed over his dealings with people. Mr Costigan might not hold the seat of Whitsunday on his own.

Speaker Curtis Pitt is also considering a last-ditch effort from the LNP to force more scrutiny on the government. Frontbencher Tim Nicholls said the appropriation bills introduced after Treasurer Cameron Dick’s budget update this week were unconstitutional as they were not sent off for committee scrutiny.

Mr Dick, who has offered himself up for a short period of committee scrutiny tomorrow, told parliament he had acted in accordance with the constitution. He said he had advice that the bills were not for a full budget period and therefore did not require a referral to committee.

This article originally appeared on InQueensland, and is republished with permission. You can read the original here