Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk resigns

Queensland’s premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced her retirement at a snap media conference this morning.

The premier said she would step down from her leadership role at the end of the week and will also retire from her seat of Inala at the end of the year.

Palaszczuk has been Premier for 2015. She entered parliament in 2006 and took over as Opposition Leader in 2012, making an impressive return to government after just one term in opposition.

At the time Labor held just seven seats, but Palaszczuk was swept to power as voters opted to dump the government of Campbell Newman after just a single term.

She made history as the first female leader to become a state premier at an election. While Western Australia’s Carmen Lawrence was the first woman to become a state premier in 1990, and Joan Kirner led Victoria just a few months later; both became government while in government.

Palaszczuk is also the first female premier to be re-elected, something she succeed twice being returned in both 2017 and 2020.

“When I led this party from an opposition of just seven members, I said that the first election will be like climbing Mt Everest,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“I went on to climb that mountain twice more, I don’t need to do it again.” the premier said.

Speculation that Palaszczuk would resign has grown in recent weeks, and she has thrown her support behind deputy Steven Miles to become the next premier.

The Premier said she had considered her future while on a recent holiday to Italy but made her final decision after attending National Cabinet last week.

“Finally, my mind was made up at national cabinet last week when I saw so many new faces.

“Renewal is a good thing.” Palaszczuk told the media on Sunday morning.

Premier Palaszczuk is also the last of the Covid-era premiers to leave office.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese paid tribute to the premier’s public service saying she was 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,” he said in a statement.

“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.

“Annastacia leaves office rightly proud of all she has achieved and – as ever – thinking of what is best for Queensland and its future. I wish her all the very best for her future.” the Prime Minister said.

Queenslanders will go to the polls on 26th October 2024 with Labor seeking a fourth term in government.

The Queensland Parliament is the only unicameral state parliament in Australia, composed of the Legislative Assembly. The upper house was abolished in 1922.

In the current parliament Labor holds 52 seats while the Liberal National party has 34 seats, the remaining three seats are held by the Katter’s Australian party.

Graeme Watson

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