News State Queensland Palaszczuk unveils Qld ministry

Palaszczuk unveils Qld ministry

Annastacia Palaszczuk
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Annastacia Palaszczuk has denied factional pressure determined the make-up of the new ministry during her first media conference as Queensland premier.

Her cabinet, which has been reduced from 19 to 14 ministers in line with an election promise, has seen former Bligh-era minister Stirling Hinchliffe miss out on a portfolio.

But Mr Hinchliffe, who has previously served as both infrastructure and education minister, will instead become Leader of the House and minister assisting the premier.

Labor focus on creating jobs

“I met with Stirling today and he is very happy, very happy to have those responsibilities,” Ms Palaszczuk said at the Executive Building in Brisbane on Sunday.

She rejected suggestions her ministry was a mere factional carve-up.

“This is my cabinet. I have been speaking with a range of people over a number of weeks,” she said.

“I stand by this cabinet. I have allocated the portfolios.”

As expected, incumbent Labor MPs Jackie Trad, Curtis Pitt, Bill Byrne, Jo-Anne Miller, Yvette D’Ath and Dr Anthony Lynham have all been rewarded with portfolios.

Returning Bligh ministers Kate Jones and Cameron Dick will also bear major responsibilities with the portfolios of education and health respectively.

There are new faces including Mark Bailey, a former high school teacher and Brisbane councillor who will handle Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports as well as Energy and Water Supply.

Other major winners include Leeanne Enoch – one of two Indigenous MPs in the 44-member Palaszczuk administration – along with Coralee O’Rourke and Shannon Fentiman.
The three are all new MPs.

Ms Palaszczuk vowed to restore integrity and accountability into the Queensland government and repeated an earlier pledge to be a government of consensus.

“I want to give a very clear message today to the public servants who work hard right across this state – your jobs are safe,” she said.

“I want to work with you.”

Ms Palaszczuk has not yet decided who will take the role of Speaker and said she would consult the Clerk of the Parliament about when the house would sit.

The new ministers will be sworn in at 11am (AEST) on Monday.

The premier said kingmaker MP Peter Wellington, the independent whose support allowed Labor to form government, would be treated like everyone else when it came to policy formation.

Directors-General will be invited to reapply for their positions but Ms Palaszczuk stressed the process would be one of merit-based selection.

The premier has instructed the acting Director-General of the premier’s department to halt any work related to the Liberal National Party’s plan to lease state-owned assets.

“Over the coming days I want full details on how much money was spent in relation to the asset sales by the former government,” she said.


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