Following the resignation of Australia’s longest-serving female Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, the Queensland Government is under new leadership with a new Cabinet.
Former Deputy Premier Steven Miles was officially sworn in in as Queensland’s Premier with Treasurer Cameron Dick as his deputy. The Queensland Labor Government avoided a lengthy leadership ballot after Health Minister Shannon Fentiman withdrew from the race, conceding that her Left factional ally Miles had the numbers.
The new Premier has announced a significant Cabinet reshuffle, with five newcomers joining the frontbench, replacing three Ministers who have moved to the backbench.
Cameron Dick’s Right faction gained an additional Cabinet position in exchange for their support of Steven Miles.
The new leadership team faces an uphill battle to retain power at next year’s October state election, with Labor trailing the Coalition 52-48 in the polls.
To win back voters, the Queensland Government needs to address several key issues: the cost-of-living crisis, housing, crime and the increasing cost of the Brisbane Olympics.
The Incoming Premier:
Originally a member of the Right faction, Miles defected to the Left after failing to gain support for preselection in 2009. He unsuccessfully ran for the seat of Ryan in the 2010 Federal Election.
In 2014, Miles defeated Fiona McNamara for preselection in the seat of Mount Coot-tha’s. He went on to win the seat in the 2015 state election, where he was immediately elevated to the role of Minister for the Environment, Heritage Protection, National Parks, and the Great Barrier Reef.
Following the 2017 electoral redistribution, Miles was elected in the seat of Murrumba and named Minister for Health and Ambulance Services in the second Palaszczuk Ministry.
During the early COVID-19 pandemic, he was the first state minister to declare a public health emergency in January 2020, and earned a reputation as the Premier’s “attack dog” after he filmed himself ripping up a $30 million dollar invoice from the NSW Government for the cost of quarantining Queenslanders.
Miles became Deputy Premier in May 2020, following Jackie Trad’s resignation, and retained his health ministry role until October 2020. Afterwards, he was appointed Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government, and Planning in the third Palaszczuk Ministry.
In 2021, Miles again made headlines after he appeared to call then Prime Minister Scott Morrison an offensive term in a speech addressing a union rally. Miles claimed it was an accidental stutter. Scott Morrison accepted the explanation, telling Cairns radio 4CA at the time: “he has a habit of carrying on like a bit of an idiot”.
While Miles nervous demeanour in early press conferences earned him the nickname “Giggles” amongst the media, the new Premier has a serious task ahead of him.
When recently addressing the media late last year, incoming Premier Steven Miles acknowledged his “underdog” status, and signalled a new focus on cost-of-living, with a freeze on car registrations:
“What I intend to demonstrate to Queenslanders between now and then is just what kind of Premier I would be: absolutely focused on them, their safety, their cost of living, and the issues that are important to them.”
The New Queensland Government:
Prior to Christmas 2023, Premier Steven Miles announced five new ministers, and five assistant ministers would be brought into Cabinet, in the largest reshuffle in nine years of the Queensland Labor Government. Lance McCallum, Nikki Boyd, Bart Mellish, Michael Healy, and Charis Mullen will join the cabinet as first-time ministers:
“They are younger, they are energetic, they are ready to deliver a fresh approach for Queenslanders” – Premier of Queensland, the Hon Steven Miles
Housing Minister Meaghan Scanlon has gained three new responsibilities to tackle the housing crisis, becoming Housing, Planning, Local Government and Public Works Minister, with Miles’ former State Development, Infrastructure, Planning and Local Government portfolio which has been broken up to create the housing super-portfolio.
Relegated members Mark Bailey, Stirling Hinchliffe and Craig Crawford have lost the transport, tourism and child safety ministerial portfolios respectively.
Youth Justice Minister Di Farmer has added Education to her responsibilities, Police Minister Mark Ryan picked up the additional responsibility of Community Safety, and Mick De Brenni’s Energy Department has added climate to their title, reflecting the Federal Government’s department.
Previous Education Minister Grace Grace retained the Industrial Relations and Racing portfolios and also took on State Development. There is no dedicated Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, however Grace Grace has assumed responsibility for the Games under her portfolio.
Hon. Steven Miles MP
Hon. Cameron Dick MP
Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
Hon. Grace Grace MP
Minister for State Development and Infrastructure, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing
Hon. Shannon Fentiman MP
Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women
Hon. Yvette D’ath MP
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
Hon. Michael De Brenni MP
Minister for Clean Economy and Jobs
Hon. Meaghan Scanlon MP
Minister for Housing, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Public Works
Hon. Mark Ryan MP
Minister for Police and Community Safety
Hon. Leeanne Enoch MP
Minister for Treaty, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Minister for Communities and Minister for the Arts
Hon. Dianne Farmer MP
Minister for Education and Minister for Youth Justice
Hon. Mark Furner MP
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities
Hon. Glenn Butcher MP
Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water
Hon. Scott Stewart MP
Minister for Resources and Critical Minerals
Hon. Leanne Linard MP
Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Innovation
Hon. Nikki Boyd MP
Minister for Fire and Disaster Recovery and Minister for Corrective Services
Hon. Bart Mellish MP
Minister for Transport and Main Roads and Minister for Digital Services
Hon. Lance McCallum MP
Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
Hon. Charis Mullen MP
Minister for Child Safety, Minister for Seniors and Disability Services and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
Hon. Michael Healy MP
Minister for Tourism and Sport
Assistant Minister Portfolio
Assistant Minister for Train Manufacturing, Regional Development, and Jobs.
Assistant Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Industrial Relations and Racing
Assistant Minister for Health and Regional Health Infrastructure
Assistant Minister for Housing, Local Government, Planning and Public Works
Assistant Minister for Treasury, Trade and Investment
Assistant Minister for Clean Energy Jobs
Assistant Minister for Education and Youth Justice
Assistant Minister for Justice and Veterans Affairs