Australia

Queensland Opposition Leader David Crisafulli unveils shadow cabinet

Queensland’s outgoing Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington is one of three former party leaders handed a seat at the table of the new-look shadow cabinet revealed on Sunday.The shake-up is the first major announcement for the state’s new Liberal-National Party leader David Crisafulli following the opposition’s resounding election defeat last month.Newly appointed deputy David Janetzki will…

Queensland’s outgoing Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington is one of three former party leaders handed a seat at the table of the new-look shadow cabinet revealed on Sunday.

The shake-up is the first major announcement for the state’s new Liberal-National Party leader David Crisafulli following the opposition’s resounding election defeat last month.

Newly appointed deputy David Janetzki will take charge of the shadow treasury and Ros Bates was given health.

Ms Frecklington retains a seat in the cabinet and will be responsible for water, construction of dams, regional development and manufacturing, while her former deputy Tim Mander slips from shadow treasurer to housing and public works as well as sport and racing.

Former party leader Tim Nicholls will be shadow Attorney-General and another former chief, John-Paul Langbroek, will be in charge of seniors, communities and disabled services as well as multiculturalism and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.

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Mr Crisafulli said his cabinet is heavily focused on the economy, which he insists will be the major election issue at the next state poll in four years.

“When I became the leader of the opposition, I said I would assemble a team of some of the best economic minds in the parliament,” he said on Sunday.

“It’s a strong mix of fresh faces and experience.

“The next election will be fought on the economy, which is why I have separated the economic arms to create both treasury and finance portfolios.”

Jarrod Bleijie will take charge of finance and retain his role as shadow minister for industrial relations.

Mr Crisafulli said this shared focus on the state’s purse will “chart a course towards good economic opportunities for Queensland families and also to hold the government to account for its expenditure”.

“A government integrity portfolio will also be introduced, charged with holding the current government to account,” he said.

On Tuesday, premier Annastacia Palaszczuk appointed the youngest Minister in the state’s history and moved her deputy out of the pivotal health role in her own cabinet shuffle.

In a move echoed by the opposition, the Queensland Government moved towards a greater focus on the economy and job creation as it charts a path out of the coronavirus-induced recession and high unemployment.

Steven Miles will now take on the role of state development Minister, with Ms Palaszczuk flagging she would need “all hands on deck” to support the state’s financial recovery.

Mr Miles told reporters he “got a bit teary” when he broke the news to the state’s chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young of his change of role after working side-by-side throughout the chaos of coronavirus.

“But her view is that we have the virus under control so she was supportive of me taking on a greater role in the economic response,” he said.

Former Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath will be sworn in as the new health Minister, while Gold Coast hinterland MP Meaghan Scanlon has been elevated to the ministry after her triumph in the state election.

Ms Scanlon broke the LNP’s stronghold over the electorate of Gaven in 2017 by a slim margin and her success was viewed as crucial for the incumbent government’s re-election bid.

Her resounding victory helped deliver a two-party preferred swing of 7.6 per cent and landed a gut punch to the LNP’s hopes of toppling the government.

“Almost 40 per cent of Queenslanders are under the age of 30 so it’s a great privilege to be the youngest cabinet minister in Queensland’s history,” Ms Scanlon said.

“I’ll make sure I continue to advocate for not only my generation but generations to come.”

She will be joined by new appointees Leanne Linard, Nudgee MP, and Townsville’s victor Scott Stewart.

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