The Queensland Premier, Peter Beattie, has announced that he will retire later this week.
Beattie has been Labor Premier since June 1998, winning re-election in 2001, 2004 and 2006. He will retire as the second longest-serving Labor Premier of Queensland. William Forgan Smith served for 10 years from 1932 until 1942.
- Listen to Beattie’s Resignation Press Conference (23m – part only):
This is the text of Peter Beattie’s resignation statement.
I indicated in late June that I would be considering my future over the next 12 months. Well I’ve done that. And it’s now time; it’s time for renewal.
And therefore I’ve indicated to my cabinet colleagues, and my caucus colleagues and my workmates that I’ll be resigning as premier as of 10am Thursday. There will be a special caucus meeting on Wednesday at 11am to elect a new leader.
As you know, we embarked on this fourth term there were many challenges. I have to say there are many things about the American system I disagree with but there are some that I do agree with. And that is that I like the idea of two fixed terms of four years which means leaders stay for around about eight years. And as you know I’ve been premier for over nine. I stayed because I had obligations to Queenslanders in relation to the issues of health, the water grid and obviously council amalgamations. I stayed to make sure that that work is either done or well on the way.
That’s now being done and I am confident that under Premier Anna Bligh the state will be in good hands.
There are many things that I’m proud of. I’m proud of my team. I’m proud of my cabinet. My cabinet is a very solid cabinet. It’s well balanced with good people in it. And they put Queensland first. I’m also proud of the talent in my caucus. I have to say for someone who got thrown out of the Labor Party because I criticised the lack of calibre of the caucus in the 70s, we’ve come a long way. We’ve got the team that can take us forward.
I don’t intend to today go through my record because frankly I think you’re all bored with that and I think Queenslanders are too, other than to say that the smart state philosophy which, as you know I’m madly committed to, is fundamentally important not just for Queensland now but for our future. If you look at where we are, without Smart State, we will not have the jobs of tomorrow.
I am proud of the fact that we have an unemployment level of 3.5 per cent, nationally it’s 4.5 per cent. As you know I promised five per cent and we have delivered on that. And I’m very proud of that. So I want to thank my cabinet, I want to thank my colleagues, I want to thank my workmates and my staff who’ve worked incredibly hard. I want to thank the deputies that I have worked with as well as my cabinet colleagues.
But more importantly than any of that, I want to thank two very special people. Firstly I want to thank the people of Queensland because you’ve put your faith in me and my cabinet colleagues. And I want to thank you for that. Obviously I would not have been anything without the people of this state. This is the best place on the planet. I love Queenslanders and I love Queensland and I’ve done my best.
Now I haven’t been perfect. We all know it. I’ve made my share of mistakes and when we have I’ve tried to admit them and get on with it.
I would just ask Queenslanders for this little thing, that I be remembered for doing my best.
Sometimes it was good enough, sometimes it wasn’t, but I always did my best.
And the second group of people I want to thank are my family. I want to thank Heather for putting up with me and giving me that frank advice from time to time, like you’re fat and you’re overweight and you have bags under your eyes and you should speak shorter and all the
wonderful things my wife gave me advice on.
I also want to thank my children. Matthew’s here representing them today. They can’t all be here but I want to thank them. I love them dearly.