PREMIER Campbell Newman says he’s on a fast ride to deliver Queensland’s mandate for change.
The Newman-led Liberal National Party (LNP) won government in dramatic fashion on Saturday, leaving Labor with as few as seven seats.
Within hours of being sworn in as Queensland’s 38th premier, Mr Newman made his first appointment.
He announced former investment banker Jon Grayson would be the director-general in his Department of Premier and Cabinet.
As people hurriedly moved boxes in and out of the Queensland government executive building, Mr Newman held his first official press conference as premier.
He told reporters he’d received a congratulatory telephone call from Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
But former premier Anna Bligh had not left a note for him in the premier’s George Street office.
“I’ve only been in the office for about half an hour and I’ve found a cup of tea for myself and some dried apricots that were left behind,” he laughed, joking that it crossed his mind they might have been tampered with.
Mr Newman said he would announce the separation and restructure of several government departments later in the week, before announcing his cabinet line-up.
“We do have a mandate for change, a mandate for the policies we put out there prior to the election,” he said.
“It’s going to be an exciting week; it’s going to be an exciting month; it’s going to be an exciting 100 days.
“Get on board, we’re going for a long, quick, fast ride.”
Jeff Seeney was sworn in as deputy premier and Tim Nicholls as treasurer, but Mr Newman would not be drawn on who else might be given ministerial responsibilities.
Mr Newman said all the new LNP MPs would go through an intensive induction to learn the procedures of the parliament, “including the member for Ashgrove” – himself.
Day one of parliament will also be his first day in the house, because he entered state politics as an unelected citizen.
He says a date for a by-election in the Ms Bligh’s seat of South Brisbane will be decided by parliament’s speaker.
Ms Bligh was one of about seven Labor MPs who managed to hold on to their seats, but on Sunday she announced her resignation.
Jackie Trad, the ALP’s assistant state secretary, confirmed on Monday that she would be a candidate in South Brisbane.
This came after a rising Labor star, former education minister Cameron Dick, dashed hopes that he would win South Brisbane and lead Labor in opposition.
Mr Dick said he would prefer to spend more time with family.
Likely leaders are now former transport minister Annastacia Palaszczuk, or former disabilities minister Curtis Pitt.
In one more surprise for Labor on Monday, Heather Beattie, wife of former premier Peter Beattie, announced she would run for Brisbane City Council next month.
But she admitted the state election result showed Labor was hugely unpopular, and she’d have a tough campaign. – AAP