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Pedal to the metal: Premier says refreshed cabinet will 'respond faster to issues'

Politics

The Queensland government’s newly reshuffled cabinet will sit in parliament for the first time, tasked with spearheading Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s “refreshed” front bench with an election coming next year.

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Palaszczuk made the decision to chop and change several ministerial portfolios last week, most notably with Shannon Fentiman moving from attorney-general to health minister in a straight swap with Yvette D’Ath.

The moves included Meaghan Scanlon shifting from the environment portfolio to tackling the state’s accommodation crisis as housing minister, with Leanne Linard taking over environment, science and multicultural affairs.

In total, eight ministers were affected in the cabinet reshuffle.

The premier labelled her decision a new beginning and had public backing from her newly sworn-in ministers when explaining the sudden overhaul.

“We need to respond faster to issues, we need to be collectively working together,” she said last week.

“There’s no more working in silos, we need to be collaborating across government.”

But deputy opposition leader Jarrod Bleijie claimed the reshuffle shows the premier fears for her own political survival.

“Queenslanders will not be fooled by this, what the government are calling a reset or a reshuffle,” he said on Monday.

“As I have made the point on many occasions, this is nothing more than reheating a bad lunch.

“It’s the same old clowns in the same old circus, and we’re going to see it this week.”

Parliament recently passed historic Path to Treaty legislation at a rare regional sitting in Cairns earlier this month.

The government is expected to introduce laws that scrap identity protection for persons charged with serious sexual offences until committed to stand trial this week, bringing Queensland in line with all other jurisdictions except the NT.

State parliament will sit for its final three dates before parliamentarians reconvene next month for the budget.

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