|Speaker of the Queensland Legislative Assembly|
15 May 2012
|Preceded by||John Mickel|
|Deputy Leader of the Opposition of Queensland|
18 September 2006 – 25 July 2008
|Preceded by||Jeff Seeney|
|Succeeded by||Mark McArdle|
|Member of the Queensland Parliament
19 September 1992
|Preceded by||New seat|
|Political party||Liberal National (2008–present)|
Fiona Stuart Simpson (born 18 April 1965 in Sea Lake, Victoria) is an Australian politician who is the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland and a Liberal National Party (LNP) member of the Legislative Assembly, representing Maroochydore. She was the Deputy Leader of the Queensland National Party and Deputy Leader of the Opposition from 2006 to 2008.
Simpson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Japanese, Journalism and Government and a Masters of Organisational Leadership. She also has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors Diploma and an executive leadership course at John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard. She was a Rotary Exchange Student to Japan, and prior to that attended Nambour State High School.
Simpson is the most senior woman in the LNP caucus, having won eight elections. When she won the newly created Sunshine Coast seat of Maroochydore in 1992, she was the youngest woman ever to be elected to Legislative Assembly.
Simpson has had shadow ministerial responsibility for Health, Transport, Main Roads, Tourism, Women, Communities, Housing and Waste Watch, in addition to having been elected Deputy Leader of the Queensland National Party (and therefore Deputy Leader of the Opposition) on 18 September 2006. While Deputy Leader, Simpson was a key player in the merger with the Queensland Liberal Party, which created the Liberal National Party of Queensland. She voluntarily stepped aside as Deputy Opposition Leader in favour of Liberal Party Leader Mark McArdle to help facilitate the merger.
During a parliamentary debate in 2002 on changes to anti-discrimination laws that would prevent faith-based schools from discriminating against teachers not of their faith, including gay and lesbian teachers, Simpson referred to acquaintances who are 'former' homosexuals. Simpson also said that she had previously interviewed Sy Rogers, a leader in ministering to 'former' homosexuals within the controversial ex-gay movement, specifically from Exodus International. In her speech to Parliament, Simpson contrasted what she called "some very genuinely held beliefs" that homosexuality is an unchangeable, born trait with those who believe that homosexuality is a "lifestyle choice", such that homosexuals may choose to "grow into heterosexuality over time".
Media attention was brought to these comments in 2011, and despite the comments drawing criticism from Karen Struthers, mental health psychologist Paul Martin and the gay community, neither Simpson nor the LNP have responded to questions to clarify her personal beliefs on the subject of the ex-gay movement. Fiona Simpson deleted her Facebook page following the controversy after it was inundated with criticism over her support of Exodus.
- Carolyn Tucker (1 December 2007). "High and mighty Nambour". The Daily. Retrieved 8 January 2008.
- Steven Wardill and Rosemary Odgers (18 September 2006). "Seeney takes the reins". The Herald Sun. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
- "MP Fiona Simpson to be appointed Queensland Parliament's first female Speaker". Courier Mail. 30 March 2012.
- "Simpson's comments to Parliament (Hansard transcript)".
- "LGBTI Round Table noms to close Friday". Star Observer. 16 February 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- Hurst, Daniel (27 October 2011). "Gay? Grow out of it, suggests MP". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
- "Calls for resignation over MP’s ‘ex-gay’ comments". Star Observer. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- Hurst, Daniel (28 October 2011). "Newman silent on gay cure furore". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
|Parliament of Queensland|
|Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland
|Member for Maroochydore