Annastacia Palaszczuk

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The Honourable
Annastacia Palaszczuk
MP
39th Premier of Queensland
Elections: 2015
Incumbent
Assumed office
14 February 2015
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor Paul de Jersey
Deputy Jackie Trad
Preceded by Campbell Newman
Minister for the Arts
of Queensland
Incumbent
Assumed office
14 February 2015
Preceded by Ian Walker
Leader of the Opposition of Queensland
In office
28 March 2012 – 13 February 2015
Premier Campbell Newman
Deputy Tim Mulherin
Preceded by Jeff Seeney
Succeeded by Lawrence Springborg
Leader of the Australian Labor Party
in Queensland
Incumbent
Assumed office
28 March 2012
Deputy Tim Mulherin
Jackie Trad
Preceded by Anna Bligh
Minister for Transport
of Queensland
In office
21 February 2011 – 26 March 2012
Premier Anna Bligh
Preceded by Rachel Nolan
Succeeded by Scott Emerson
Minister for Multicultural Affairs
of Queensland
In office
26 March 2009 – 26 March 2012
Premier Anna Bligh
Preceded by Lindy Nelson-Carr
Succeeded by Jack Dempsey
Minister for Disabilites
of Queensland
In office
26 March 2009 – 21 February 2011
Premier Anna Bligh
Succeeded by Curtis Pitt
Member of the Queensland Parliament
for Inala
Incumbent
Assumed office
9 September 2006
Preceded by Henry Palaszczuk
Personal details
Born (1969-07-25) 25 July 1969 (age 45)
Durack, Queensland, Australia
Political party Australian Labor Party
Alma mater University of Queensland
(B.A.; LLB)
University of London (MA)
Australian National University (GDip)
Profession Policy adviser and politician

Annastacia Palaszczuk (About this sound [/ˈpæl.ə.ʃeɪ/] ) (born 25 July 1969) is an Australian politician and current Premier of Queensland. She has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland since September 2006, representing the electorate of Inala. She held various ministerial portfolios in the ministry of Anna Bligh. Following Labor's defeat in the 2012 Queensland election, Palaszczuk succeeded Bligh as leader of the Queensland ALP. After the defeat of the Newman government in the 2015 election, Palaszczuk became the first woman in Australia to become Premier of a state from Opposition.

Early life and education[edit]

Palaszczuk was raised in the Brisbane suburb of Durack, the daughter of veteran state Labor MP Henry Palaszczuk, who was born in Germany to Polish parents.[1] Her Australian mother, Lorelle, is descended from German settlers.[2] She has degrees in Arts and Laws from the University of Queensland, a Masters of Arts from the University of London (where she was a Chevening Scholar), and a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from Australian National University.[3]

Political career[edit]

Palaszczuk worked as a policy adviser to a number of Labor ministers, including Minister for Communities, Disabilities and Seniors, Warren Pitt and former Minister for the Environment, Dean Wells. She later decided to have a career in the legal profession and was studying for admission as a solicitor when her father announced his intention to retire at the 2006 election.

Bligh Government[edit]

In the wake of her father's retirement, Palaszczuk contested and won Labor preselection for her father's seat of Inala in south-eastern Brisbane, the safest Labor seat in Queensland, and was elected with a margin of more than 30 points.

On 9 October 2008, Palaszczuk was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Main Roads and Local Government in the wake of Ronan Lee's defection to the Greens. Just over five months later, she was appointed Minister for Disability Services and Multicultural Affairs in the Bligh ministry following the March 2009 election. In February 2011, she was promoted to Minister for Transport and Multicultural Affairs.[4]P

Leader of the opposition[edit]

At the 2012 election, the Bligh government was overwhelmingly defeated by Campbell Newman-led Liberal National Party, losing 44 seats. Palaszczuk suffered a 14-point swing in Inala, but retained her seat with 46.2 per cent of the primary vote and an estimated 56.9 per cent of the two-party vote.[5]

The day after the election, Bligh resigned as premier and party leader and retired from politics. Palaszczuk, as one of only three surviving members of Bligh's cabinet, announced that she would be a candidate to succeed Bligh.[6] Curtis Pitt initially said he would stand, but withdrew. This left Palaszczuk to take the leadership unopposed at a meeting of the Labor Caucus on 28 March in Ipswich. Bligh did not attend the meeting. Tim Mulherin was elected Deputy Leader, also unopposed.[7]

Palaszczuk faced the task of rebuilding a party which had just suffered the worst defeat of a sitting government in Queensland history, and amongst the worst that a governing party has ever suffered at the state level in Australia. She also faced the difficulty of leading an opposition caucus of only seven members, two short of official status (though Newman subsequently promised that Labor will have the full rights and resources entitled to the official opposition).[8] After taking the leadership, Palaszczuk said, "We need to make ourselves relevant to voters. We need to get back to our basics. Workers' rights, protecting the environment, investment in education—these are core Labor principles and somewhere along the way we simply lost our way." She also said, "I'm under no illusion of the task ahead, of the rebuild that we need to do and the fact that we need to restore people's faith in the Queensland Labor Party (sic)."[9]

Following her election, Palaszczuk apologised for "breaching the trust of Queenslanders", a reference to the Bligh government's decision to sell off state assets after promising not to do so at the 2009 election. This decision had been "poorly communicated to the community", she said, "There were other issues, but that is the single point where we lost faith with the community. For that I apologise." Palaszckuk defended the decision itself, saying it was made to save jobs across the state, but conceded that the Government should have been more open more quickly regarding the policy.[7]

On 29 March 2012, Palaszczuk announced that she would support the state parliamentary term being extended to four years, as is the case in the other Australian states. Newman indicated he supports the move as well.[8]

2015 election[edit]

During her time as opposition leader, Palaszczuk closed the two-party gap between Labor and the LNP, and on several occasions outpolled Newman as preferred premier.[10] Despite this, most commentators gave Labor little chance of winning the 2015 state election. Labor needed a 36-seat swing to make Palaszczuk Queensland's second female premier—a task thought nearly impossible given that the party only went into the election with nine seats (having won two seats from the LNP in by-elections).

However, in a result that surprised even the most optimistic Labor observers, Labor won a 12-point swing, and projections on election night saw the party very close to winning a majority government. Depending on the source, Labor was either two or three seats short of outright victory.[11][12] Labor also ousted Newman in his own seat, something that had only happened to a sitting Premier once before in Queensland's history.[12] The balance of power rested with the lone independent in the chamber, Peter Wellington, and the two MPs from Katter's Australian Party. On 5 February, Wellington announced his support for a Labor government under Palaszczuk.[13]

Initially, there was some doubt that Palaszczuk would be able to take power due to questions about the result in the Brisbane-area seat of Ferny Grove. The Palmer United Party candidate in the seat was later revealed to be an undischarged bankrupt, and therefore ineligible to run. Although counting showed Labor ahead, this raised the prospect of a by-election for the seat.[14] However, on 13 February, the Electoral Commission of Queensland formally declared the results, and opted not to refer the Ferny Grove result to the Court of Disputed Returns. They showed Labor had won 44 seats, one short of an outright majority--formally clearing the way for Palaszczuk to form a minority government.[15]

Premier[edit]

On 9 February 2015, with projections showing Labor assured of at least a minority government, Palaszcuzuk said she intended to meet with Governor Paul de Jersey on 11 February and advise him that she could form a government.[16] Hours after the results were declared, de Jersey formally invited Palaszczuk to form a government. [17] She was sworn in on 14 February 2015.[18] It is only the seventh change of government in Queensland since 1915.

Initially, Palaszczuk, deputy leader Jackie Trad, and Curtis Pitt were sworn in as an interim three-person government.[19][20] The full ministry was sworn in on 16 February 2015,[21][22] with Palaszczuk taking on the Arts portfolio alongside her Premiership.

Palaszczuk claims that she is prepared to put her Premiership on the line to restore integrity to Queensland. She is reported to have said: "Integrity is not just a boutique issue; it is a mainstream concern, especially for Queenslanders, because they know all too well where a lack of integrity and accountability leads. I'm prepared to put my Premiership on the line, I'm prepared to put integrity of my Government on the line because we stood up for what was right" [23]

Personal life[edit]

Palaszczuk was married to journalist George Megalogenis from 1996 to 1998, and to Simon Every, who was then Senator Joe Ludwig's chief of staff, from 2004 to 2009.[24]

External Links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Palaszczuk, Mr Heinrich (Henry)". Former Members Register. Queensland Parliament. Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  2. ^ "Annastacia Palaszczuk: what you don’t know". The Courier Mail. 2 February 2015. 
  3. ^ "Queensland election 2015: Who is new Labor premier Annastacia Palaszczuk? - By Leonie Mellor and Elaine Ford". Australian Broadcasting Corporation 13 February 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  4. ^ Queensland Parliament House biography[dead link]
  5. ^ Elections "2012 State General Election: Inala District Summary". Electoral Commission Queensland. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  6. ^ "Palaszczuk confirms run for leadership". The Courier Mail. 27 March 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Michael Madigan (28 March 2012). New ALP leader Annastacia Palaszszuk apologises for the sale of public assets, the cause for Labor's ballot disaster. The Courier-Mail. News Corp.
  8. ^ a b "Fixed four-year terms on the horizon in the Sunshine State". The Australian. 29 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "Labor selects new leader Annastacia Palaszczuk to slay giant Campbell Newman". News.com.au. 
  10. ^ "Opinion Polls". newspoll.com.au. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  11. ^ Agius, Kym (31 January 2015). "Queensland election 2015: Campbell Newman concedes Ashgrove to ALP's Kate Jones". ABC News (Australia). Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  12. ^ a b Wardill, Steven; Tin, Jason (1 February 2015). "Queensland election 2015: Annastacia Palaszczuk’s Labor on brink of victory". The Sunday Mail. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  13. ^ "Queensland Election: Peter Wellington supports Labor to govern". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  14. ^ "Electoral commission will ask court to decide on Ferny Grove byelection". The Guardian Australia. Australian Associated Press. 8 February 2015. Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  15. ^ Brennan, Rose; Wardill, Steven (13 February 2015). "Electoral commission declares final seats in Queensland election". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  16. ^ Withey, Andree; Agius, Kym (9 February 2015). "Queensland election 2015: Labor leader Annastacia Palaszczuk to seek Governor's permission to form government". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  17. ^ Robertson, Joshua (13 February 2015). "Annastacia Palaszczuk new premier of Queensland after Labor wins 44 seats". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  18. ^ "Queensland election 2015: Annastacia Palaszczuk sworn in as Premier". Australian Broadcasting Corporation 14 February 2015. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  19. ^ Killoran, Matthew; Wardill, Steven (14 February 2015). "Queensland Government: Annastacia Palaszczuk sworn in as Premier, Jackie Trad named Deputy Premier, Curtis Pitt named Treasurer". The Courier Mail (Queensland). Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  20. ^ Atfield, Cameron (14 February 2015). "Palaszczuk takes Premier's reins". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  21. ^ "Queensland Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announces new Cabinet". Brisbane Times. 15 February 2015. 
  22. ^ "Queensland's new Labor Cabinet sworn in at Government House". Australian Broadcasting Corporation 16 February 2015. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  23. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-02/annastacia-palaszczuk-announces-labor-election-plans/5934542
  24. ^ "Can being born to rule be enough for Labor's Anna Palaszczuk" by Damien Murphy, The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 January 2015
Political offices
Preceded by
Lindy Nelson-Carr
Minister for Disability Services
2009–2011
Succeeded by
Curtis Pitt
Minister for Multicultural Affairs
2009–2012
Succeeded by
Jack Dempsey
Preceded by
Rachel Nolan
Minister for Transport
2011–2012
Succeeded by
Scott Emerson
Preceded by
Jeff Seeney
Leader of the Opposition in Queensland
2012–2015
Succeeded by
Lawrence Springborg
Preceded by
Campbell Newman
Premier of Queensland
2015–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Ian Walker
Minister for the Arts
2015–present
Party political offices
Preceded by
Anna Bligh
Leader of the Labor Party in Queensland
2012–present
Incumbent
Parliament of Queensland
Preceded by
Henry Palaszczuk
Member for Inala
2006–present
Incumbent