Ray Stevens (politician)

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Ray Stevens
Leader of the House of Queensland
In office
30 March 2012 – 14 February 2015
Premier Campbell Newman
Preceded by Judy Spence
Succeeded by Stirling Hinchliffe
Member of the Queensland Parliament for Mermaid Beach
Robina (2006–2009)
Assumed office
9 September 2006
Preceded by Bob Quinn
Personal details
Born (1953-02-01) 1 February 1953 (age 62)
Townsville, Australia
Political party Liberal National Party
Occupation Accountant, small business owner

Raymond Alexander (Ray) Stevens, MP (born 1 February 1953) is an Australian politician who is the Leader of the House in the Legislative Assembly of Queensland.

Born in Townsville, Stevens is married with two children. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Finance and Economics from James Cook University and Macquarie University, and was admitted to the Australian Association of Accountants in 1974, being employed by Price Waterhouse in Sydney. He returned to the family station, "Doncaster" in Richmond, before moving to the Gold Coast in 1979. He ran local businesses in the area and was a councillor on Albert Shire Council from 1988 to 1994, serving as Mayor in 1994. After the amalgamation of Albert and Gold Coast, he was mayor of the latter from 1995 to 1997.[1]

Stevens, as member of the Liberal Party, was elected to state parliament in 2006 as the member for Robina, succeeding former state Liberal leader Bob Quinn. In 2008, Stevens joined the new Liberal National Party with the rest of his party and currently holds the parliamentary position of Shadow Minister Tourism and Racing.[1] The redistribution ahead of the 2009 state election renamed his seat to Mermaid Beach; he was re-elected. On 11 September 2012, Stevens sparked racism claims after using the term "Jihad Jackie" in Parliament to describe opposition spokeswoman Jackie Trad (herself of Catholic-Lebanese heritage). While Stevens withdrew the remark in Parliament upon urging by house speaker, he staunchly maintained using the word Jihad to describe someone of Arabic heritage, on 11 September, was nothing he needed to apologise for. He subsequently said Trad needed to "harden up" and had a "glass jaw".

At a pre-polling booth on the 21st January 2015, Stevens was filmed having a bizarre reaction to a journalist asking him questions about a $100 million sky rail project from Mudgeeraba to Springbrook. Stevens had previously stated he had approval from the Integrity Commissioner, but when the journalist asked Stevens for the Commissioner's advice to be released, Stevens refused to answer. When the journalist did not back down and asked how much he could make from the development, Mr Stevens then began to wave his hands and arms up and down in the journalist's face. "That Mermaid Ray really lost the plot, but without saying a word," Donovan said. "He started doing a dance and gyrating around — this is a Minister of the Crown, we're talking about, let me remind you."[2]

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Political offices
Preceded by
Judy Spence
Leader of the House of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland
Succeeded by
Stirling Hinchliffe
Parliament of Queensland
Preceded by
Bob Quinn
Member for Robina
Succeeded by
Seat abolished
Preceded by
New seat
Member for Mermaid Beach