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Queensland Premier’s Shock Resignation

by | Sun, Dec 10 2023

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After nine years in power, Annastacia Palaszczuk is stepping down as Queensland Premier. Ms. Palaszczuk was emotional as she delivered the shock news on Sunday (December 10), saying she will serve out the week as state leader. Her successor will be decided by the Labor parliamentary caucus on Friday (December 15).

In announcing her decision, Ms. Palaszczuk said: “I turned my mind to this when I was trying to have a holiday with my partner” and she was confronted by reporters in Italy asking questions about domestic issues. She made up her mind to quit politics completely at national cabinet last week: “I was sitting there thinking this is the fourth prime minister [since she became Premier]. There are all these new faces around the cabinet table. We got a great deal for Queensland and I thought to myself, renewal is a good thing.”

“When I led this party from an opposition of just seven members, I said that the first election will be like climbing Mount Everest. I went on to climb that mountain twice more. I don’t need to do it again. I have given it my all and I’ve run a marathon,” she added.

Australian Associated Press reports she wiped away tears as she confirmed her retirement, saying she felt “now is the time” for her to walk away. She has thrown her support behind her deputy, Steven Miles, to take over the role heading into a state election year.

Ms. Palaszczuk became known as the “accidental Premier” after leading a then-seven seat opposition to defeat Campbell Newman’s LNP government in 2015 after Labor served just one term in opposition. She won the next two elections, growing the Labor caucus to 52 people. She was heavily criticised for her strict border controls during the covid pandemic which ultimately led to low levels of the virus in the community for much of 2020 and 2021 and her overall support remained high.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese paid tribute to a “Labor hero,” describing the outgoing Premier as “a champion for Queenslanders. From the moment she made history with her extraordinary 2015 election victory, Annastacia Palaszczuk has served Queensland with fierce pride in her state and a powerful determination to deliver for people.”

“Annastacia’s leadership brought Queensland Labor back from the political brink and on so many occasions since then her Government has put Queensland in a position of national leadership. When the world turns its eyes to the 2032 Brisbane Olympics, so much of what they see in that vibrant and prosperous setting will reflect the vision and ambition of Annastacia Palaszczuk.” reports that in recent months Ms. Palaszczuk’s popularity has been in freefall as she remained defiant to continue serving as premier until her shock announcement. The news site added there were broad expectations that if she didn’t step aside, Labor would be ousted after a decade in power. A recent poll for Nine Newspapers showed her personal popularity had fallen further against LNP leader David Crisafulli who was the preferred premier by 39% to 34%. However, the poll showed support for Labor was holding steady.

Photo: Facebook – Annastacia Palaszczuk MP