Premier rules out union input on new Cabinet
Annastacia Palaszczuk has declared she won't be taking advice from the unions as she shapes her third-term Cabinet team and gets to work on delivering a Budget in less than a month.
Labor MPs said yesterday they would accept whatever job the reinstalled Premier asked of them as they privately credited her personal popularity with Labor's surging vote across the state.
Ms Palaszczuk said she hoped to announce her rejigged front bench by the week's end, should official results be declared by then as the party faithful celebrated their win, and commisserated former deputy Jackie Trad's loss at the Breakfast Creek Hotel.
Results remain too close to call in a handful of seats where Labor could pick up more from the weakened LNP, including Hervey Bay, Bundaberg, Nicklin on the Sunshine Coast and Burleigh on the Gold Coast.
The LNP remains ahead in Coomera and Currumbin, also on the Gold Coast, and in Glass House on the Sunshine Coast, and in Chatsworth in Brisbane.
But Labor is being threatened in the Cairns seat of Cook by the Katter's Australian Party candidate who is being helped by preference flows.
The factional power of the Caucus could change depending on how the results fall, although the Left would remain dominant.
Member for Nudgee Leanne Linard will be promoted to fill the Old Guard spot left by retiring MP Kate Jones, while Townsville's Scott Stewart, from the Right, is being talked up across the caucus, potentially to replace retiring mines minister Anthony Lynham.
Aaron Harper and Meaghan Scanlon, of the Left, and Linus Power, Charis Mullen and Joe Kelly, of the Right, were also raised as competent possibilities.
It's expected there could be a shake-up of portfolios to reflect the governments COVID-recovery task ahead.
And there is a question mark over whether Speaker Curtis Pitt will remain in that role, or whether the plum gig may be offered to another frontbencher to allow for more fresh blood into the ministry.
Speculation over the Cabinet came as Ms Palaszczuk confirmed she would stick with Deputy Premier Steven Miles, who is expected to retain health, and Cameron Dick as Treasurer.
Asked whether she would be taking advice from the unions on a cabinet reshuffle, Ms Palaszczuk said: "No."
It follows a flashpoint in the campaign where Left powerbroker Gary Bullock slapped down the Premier's assertion that she alone would determine the Cabinet after she declared Jackie Trad would not return even if she retained her South Brisbane seat, which she did not.
The Premier yesterday acknowledged her former deputy's defeat, saying she planned to speak with her later in the day.
Asked why Labor lost support in the inner-city seat, she said that was a question for the voters but that a very nasty campaign had been run against Ms Trad.
"I think it was a very nasty campaign," she said.
"At the end of the day Deb Frecklington has delivered a Green member to the parliament," she said.
Meanwhile, Ms Palaszczuk vowed to get back to work today on the long-awaited state Budget.
2020 QLD state election results
- LNP 0
- ALP 0
- ONP 0
- UAP 0
- KAP 0
- OTH 0
- GRN 0
"We will now be meeting with key director-generals tomorrow to start the hard work and the fast work that needs to happen on delivering a budget," she said.
However, she appeared to back away from Mr Dick's earlier promise to announce it on the week beginning November 30.
"That's our intention," she said.
"We said that there would be a week of the swearing in of the parliament and the following week would be the budget so we're working towards that."
Standing with four of her newly elected members, Ms Palaszczuk thanked Queenslanders.
"I realise there are a lot of people out there who voted Labor for the very first time, who put their trust in me for the very first time, and I want to pay that respect back," she said.
"I know that was a very tough call for a lot of people, but a lot of people stopped me in the street … and they said 'thank you for keeping us safe'."
Originally published as Every MP and their dog falls in behind one-woman show