New Queensland ag minister announced

Beef Central, 08/12/2015
Leanne Donaldson

Leanne Donaldson

Queensland has a new State Agriculture Minister after the resignation of embattled Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller prompted a Cabinet Reshuffle by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Monday.

Former agriculture minister Bill Byrne has moved across to the Police and Corrective Services Portfolio, which has seen Parliamentary newcomer Leanne Donaldson, the member for Bundaberg, promoted to the agriculture ministry.

Mrs Donaldson is a human services consultant, child safety advocate and working mum with 20 years of experience in the private and Government sectors.

She was elected to Parliament in the January State elections this year.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that promoting Mrs Donaldson to the agriculture portfolio allowed her to add another regional voice to Cabinet.

She said the Cabinet now includes 53% female representation, “making Queensland the most progressive Government in Australia”.

‘Ag credentials look thin’: Frecklington

LNP agriculture spokesperson Deb Frecklington said “no tears would be shed in the bush” over Bill Byrne’s departure from the Agriculture portfolio, describing him as a ‘do-nothing’ Minister.

“Bill Byrne spent more time offending farmers than working with stakeholders to deliver any support and genuine policy initiatives. He won’t be missed,” Ms Frecklington said.

“Minister Byrne failed to support primary producers on every major count.

“Be it commercial fishers and our local seafood industry, pest and vegetation management, and most recently on the key issue of sugar marketing, he was never on the side of primary producers.

“The only tangible thing he managed to achieve was divide our fishing sectors by pig-headedly ignoring advice from fisheries managers to rush through his net-free zones, two of which came totally out of the blue, including Fitzroy which no one wanted, not even the main local charter operator.

“His belated confession that the policy wasn’t based on any scientific data was a disgraceful admission for a Minister responsible for our $260 million a year commercial fishing industry.”

Agriculture was one of the key pillars of the State’s economy and she said Leanne Donaldson’s credentials for managing the key sector “looked thin”.

“Ms Donaldson says she speaks to farmers and horticulturalists and apparently that qualifies her to be a Minister,” she said.

“I guess that’s better than Bill Byrne who refused to meet with stakeholders and their peak groups on key policy issues.

“We’ll have to wait and see, but it’s hardly a dynamic change for the better.”

Palaszczuk Cabinet

Premier Minister for the Arts- Annastacia Palaszczuk MP

Deputy Premier Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Trade and Investment- Jackie Trad MP

Treasurer Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Minister for Sport– Curtis Pitt MP

Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services- Cameron Dick MP

Minister for Education and Minister for Tourism and Major Events- Kate Jones MP

Minister for State Development Minister for Natural Resources and Mines- Dr Anthony Lynham MP

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Training and Skills- Yvette D’Ath MP

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services, Minister for Corrective Services- Bill Byrne MP

Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games- Stirling Hinchliffe MP

Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply- Mark Bailey MP

Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef- Dr Steven Miles MP

Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business- Leeanne Enoch MP

Minister for Communities, Women and Youth and Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence- Shannon Fentiman MP

Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland-Coralee O’Rourke MP

Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs- Grace Grace MP

Minister for Housing and Public Works- Mick De Brenni MP

Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries- Leanne Donaldson MP

Assistant Ministers

Assistant Minister of State Assisting the Premier- Mark Ryan MP

Assistant Minister for Local Government- Jennifer Howard MP



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  1. Dyan Hughes, 09/12/2015

    Questionable that having 53% women in cabinet makes Queensland “most progressive Government in Australia”. When did gender become a qualification? It will always be the person, their integrity and their intellect that will put runs on the board. Wonderful if Leanne Donaldson will truly represent agricultural interests, in a holistic way that is good for all stakeholders including the land itself. It could well be that her ‘lack of qualifications’ will be a strength and she will come to position with an open mind.

  2. Tom Campbell, 08/12/2015

    She can not be any worse than John Mcveigh . What ever Labor throws at us it can not be as bad as the past LNP

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