Jarrod Bleijie

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The Honourable
Jarrod Bleijie
MP
Attorney-General of Queensland and Minister for Justice
Incumbent
Assumed office
3 April 2012
Premier Campbell Newman
Preceded by Paul Lucas
Member of the Queensland Parliament for Kawana
Incumbent
Assumed office
21 March 2009
Preceded by Steve Dickson
Personal details
Born (1982-01-25) 25 January 1982 (age 32)
Griffith, New South Wales
Political party Liberal National Party
Profession Politician and Lawyer

Jarrod Pieter Bleijie (/ˈblj/; born 25 January 1982) is an Australian politician in the Queensland parliament. Bleijie was elected as the member for Kawana at the 2009 state election, and is the third member since the seat's inception at the 2001 state election. On 3 April 2012 he was appointed Attorney-General of Queensland.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Jarrod Bleijie was born on January 25, 1982 in Griffith, New South Wales. His father is Pieter Bleijie and his mother, Christine (Cooper) Bleijie. They moved to Caloundra, Queensland in 1989. He attended Griffith Primary School, Caloundra State School, and Caloundra State High School, where he graduated in 2000 as school captain. He studied politics at the University of the Sunshine Coast before transferring to Brisbane to complete a Bachelor of Laws at Queensland University of Technology. He graduated in 2005.

Career as a lawyer[edit]

While studying law, Bleijie was employed as an Articled Clerk at the Maroochydore law firm of J J Riba & Company. Following his graduation, he was employed as a solicitor at the Sunshine Coast law firm Sajen Legal. During his legal career, Bleijie specialised in commercial law and management rights.[1]

Parliamentary career[edit]

He was elected to the Parliament of Queensland in 2009, representing the Sunshine Coast electorate of Kawana.

He was promoted to the Shadow Ministry as Shadow Attorney-General and Shadow Minister for Justice and Corrective Services, by then Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek in November 2010. Following a leadership change in March 2012, with former Brisbane City Lord Mayor Campbell Newman taking over LNP leadership from outside the parliament, he was reappointed Shadow Attorney-General, maintaining his Justice responsibilities and also taking on Fair Trading. He re-contested and won the state seat of Kawana with a two-party preferred swing of 19.9 percent, holding the seat by a 26.8 percent margin. He now has one of the safest seats in the Queensland Parliament.[2]

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice[edit]

Following a landside victory for the Newman-led Liberal National Party, in March 2012, newly elected premier Campbell Newman appointed Bleijie to Cabinet as Attorney-General and Minister for Justice.[3]

Criticism[edit]

Communications with Court of Appeal President McMurdo[edit]

In early 2014, Bleijie released details of a conversation he had with Court of Appeal President Margaret McMurdo concerning the appointment of judges. The week previously, McMurdo had criticised the Queensland Government for appointing only 1 woman in the 17 judicial appointments over the last two years. Bleijie's comments to the media suggested McMurdo had sought a higher judicial appointment for her husband, Supreme Court Judge Philip McMurdo. In an interview with the ABC, Walter Sofronoff QC called for Bleijie's resignation, saying that Bleijie had betrayed McMurdo's confidence and was "unethical".[4] Sofronoff also commented that Bleijie's comments had "the hint of a nasty schoolboy's snicker in it".[5]

Hannay v Newman and Bleijie[edit]

On 1 April 2014, Gold Coast lawyer Chris Hannay instituted proceedings against Bleijie and the Queensland Premier Campbell Newman for defamation. On 6 February 2014, Newman had commented to journalists that lawyers who represent bikies "are hired guns. They take money from people who sell drugs to our teenagers and young people. Yes, everybody's got the right to be defended under the law, but you've got to see it for what it is: they are part of the machine, part of the criminal gang machine, and they will say and do anything to defend their clients, and try to get them off — and indeed progress their dishonest case. They are paid by criminal gangs".[6] Bleijie later remarked that Newman was "referring to Hannay Lawyers, based on the Gold Coast" and that he too was "quite disturbed by their advice and fear campaign". He also noted that he agreed with Newman's comments.[7]

Personal life[edit]

He married Sally (Lennox) on 20 December 2002. They have two daughters and a son.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Richard Szabo, 'Is this Queensland's next AG?', Brisbane Legal, 1 November 2011, p.1.
  2. ^ "Kawana". ABC News. 29 March 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "Premier announces new Ministry". Department of Premier and Cabinet. 20 March 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2012. 
  4. ^ AAP (25 March 2014). "Jarrod Bleijie under pressure for betraying judge's confidence". The Guardian Australia. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  5. ^ ABC News (Online) (26 March 2014). "Walter Sofronoff, former Queensland solicitor-general, calls on Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie to resign". ABC News (Online). Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  6. ^ ABC News (Online) (2 April 2014). "Taxpayers to foot defamation defence bill for Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie". ABC News (Online). Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  7. ^ ABC News (Online) (2 April 2014). "Taxpayers to foot defamation defence bill for Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie". ABC News (Online). Retrieved 2 April 2014. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Queensland
Preceded by
Steve Dickson
Member for Kawana
2009–present
Incumbent