Kate Jones has become the third Palaszczuk Labor government minister in a week to announce a shock departure from politics, just seven weeks out from the Queensland state election.
The member for Cooper and Education Minister made the announcement in parliament on Thursday, hours after Stafford MP and Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham revealed he would not contest the October 31 election.
On Saturday, Disabilities Minister Coralee O’Rourke announced she would not stand for the seat of Mundingburra.
Both Dr Lynham and Ms O’Rourke had already been preselected by the party.
Ms Jones, 41, was the first Youth Premier of Queensland back in 1995 and has long been touted as a potential leader of the state.
She was first elected in 2006, the same year as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Ms Jones was promoted to cabinet in 2009 at the age of 30, making her Queensland‘s youngest minister to date.
She served two terms as the member for Ashgrove in Brisbane‘s inner west before she lost her seat to Campbell Newman in 2012. She returned to the seat in 2015 and in 2017 was named Minister for the Commonwealth Games.
In recent years, she has served as Tourism Minister and absorbed the Cross River Rail portfolio after former deputy premier Jackie Trad was stripped of the role.
Ms Jones was expected to make a valedictory speech to the Queensland Parliament after noon on Thursday.