New Queensland Government

2nd April, 2012

Kristina Hansen, Public Sector Analyst

The recent Queensland election sent shockwaves throughout the Sunshine state and the rest of the country, delivering a landslide victory to the Liberal National Party and a sheer bloodbath in the Labor camp. Out of the 89 seats in parliament, a whopping 78 have gone to LNP.

Former Premier Anna Bligh’s cabinet was almost entirely wiped out, nine ministers losing their seats to LNP candidates, leaving only the Premier herself, Transport Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk and Disability Services Minister Curtis Pitt standing. Ms Bligh, however, has chosen to leave politics, and the Labor leadership is likely to fall to Ms Palaszczuk.

Last week, Campbell Newman was sworn in as Premier at Government House in Brisbane, along with Depute Premier Jeff Seeney and Treasurer Tim Nicholls, and Newman announced which MPs will become the new ministers in his 19-member cabinet. Instead of parliamentary secretaries 11 assistant ministers have been introduced with the purpose to oversee government portfolios.

New Minister of Health, Lawrence Springborg, is the only person in the cabinet to have previously served as a government minister. Here is the full list of the new 19-member cabinet:

  • Campbell Newman: Premier and Cabinet

  • Jeff Seeney: Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning

  • Tim Nicholls: Treasurer and Minister for Trade

  • Lawrence Springborg: Minister for Health

  • John-Paul Langbroek: Minister for Education, Training and Employment

  • David Gibson: Minister for Police and Community Safety

  • Jarrod Bleijie: Attorney General and Minister for Justice

  • Scott Emerson: Minister for Transport and Main Roads

  • Bruce Flegg: Minister for Housing and Public Works

  • John McVeigh: Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

  • Andrew Powell: Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection

  • Andrew Cripps: Minister for Natural Resources and Mines

  • Mark McArdle: Minister for Energy and Water Supply

  • David Crisafulli: Minister for Local Government

  • Tracy Davis: Minister for Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services

  • Ros Bates: Minister for Science, IT, Innovation and the Arts

  • Steve Dickson: Minister for National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing

  • Jann Stuckey: Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and Commonwealth Games

  • Jack Dempsey: Minister for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander & Multicultural Affairs and Assisting the Premier

The election also resulted in departmental changes and out of Queensland’s 13 government departments six have been allocated new heads. Brisbane City Council (BCC) councillor and former Liberal party president Michael Caltabiano will be director-general of Transport and Main Roads. David Edwards, who served as Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney's chief of staff, has been appointed as the new director general of the Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning.

Former BCC infrastructure manager Barry Broe is the new coordinator general. Andrew Chesterman, also from BCC, will head the Department of Environment and Resource Management. Margaret Allison, who also worked with Mr Newman at the BCC, will be the head of the Department of Communities. Lastly, Queensland University of Technology deputy chancellor Helen Gluer will be Under Treasurer, the first woman appointed to the position in Queensland. Many speculated that Greg Withers, the husband of former premier Anna Bligh, would lose his position as head of Office of Climate Change, but he will keep his job.

Another interesting aspect of the shift in government power is that it could lead to major structural changes in the public sector. Mr Newman has previously indicated that his government will dismantle and separate the 13 super departments that were created by Labor. This has sparked fear among unions leaders fearing machinery of government changes will lead to a huge restructuring of government positions.

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