The Queensland Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced her retirement after 9 years as premier.
Listen to the 1pm 4BC news Brisbane (3m):
Watch Palaszczuk’s resignation press conference (9m):
First elected in 2015, the Palaszczuk government was re-elected in 2017 and 2020. Having been reduced to just 7 seats out of 89 in the 2012 election, Palaszczuk took the ALP back into government after only one term in opposition, increasing the ALP’s seat tally in each election thereafter: 44 seats in 2015, 48 in 2017 and 52 in 2020.
At her press conference today, Palaszczuk, the state’s 39th Premier, endorsed her deputy, Steven Miles, as her replacement. The ALP caucus will meet on Friday to elect the new leader. Assuming her successor will be sworn in on Friday, Palaszczuk will have served as Premier for 8 years, 10 months and 1 day.
Miles is 46 years old. He was born on November 15, 1977. He entered the Queensland parliament as the Member for Mount Coot-tha in 2015, becoming MLA for Murrumba in 2017. He has been Deputy Premier since May 11, 2020, following the resignation of Jackie Trad. He is also Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning. He was previously Minister for Health and Ambulance Services (2017-20) and Minister for National Parks, The Great Barrier Reef and Environment and Heritage Protection (2015-2017).
Other candidates for the leadership could emerge now that Palaszczuk has announced her departure. Michael (Mick) de Brenni, the Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, and Minister for Public Works, could possibly be a contender. Treasurer Cameron Dick has also been mentioned in media reports today.
One of Palaszczuk’s achievements was the introduction of fixed four-year terms for the Queensland Parliament. A referendum in 2016 changed the Queensland constitution to entrench the measure.
The next election is scheduled to take place next year – on Saturday, October 26, 2024.
EIGHT NEW LEADERS IN TWO YEARS
It has been a whirlwind of change at the top of Australian, State and Territory governments. Since March 2022, a new prime minister, six new premiers and one new chief minister will have taken office. Only three of these were as the result of elections, the other five arising out of mid-term retirements.
The longest-serving leader of the 9 jurisdictions in Australia is now Andrew Barr, the Chief Minister of the ACT, who will celebrate 9 years in the position tomorrow.
Four new leaders assumed office last year: Peter Malinauskas, Premier of South Australia since Mar 21, 2022; Jeremy Rockliff, Premier of Tasmania since April 8, 2022; Natasha Fyles, Chief Minister of the Northern Territory since May 13, 2022; and Anthony Albanese, Prime Minister since May 23, 2022. Malinauskas and Albanese both won elections from opposition.
A clean sweep of the mainland east coast states has taken place this year, joined by the west: Chris Minns, Premier of NSW since March 28, 2023; Roger Cook, Premier of Western Australia since June 8, 2023; Jacinta Allan, Premier of Victoria since September 27, 2023; Minns won election from opposition.
Eight of the nine jurisdictions have ALP governments. Jeremy Rockliff remains the only Liberal leader anywhere in Australia.