51 days out from the state election and it’s been an action-packed day in Queensland politics.
First, renowned maxillofacial surgeon and Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Anthony Lynham announced that he will not be recontesting his northern Brisbane seat of Stafford. Mr Lynham, a long-time campaigner against alcohol-fuelled violence, had served in the Ministry since the election of the Palaszczuk Government in 2015. His replacement is yet to be confirmed, but it is expected to come from the Right faction with the AWU very prominent in that seat.
This was followed by the bombshell announcement early this afternoon that popular Tourism Minister Kate Johns will also stand aside at the upcoming election. Often touted as a future Premier, Ms Jones shot to prominence in 2012 during a high-profile tussle for the seat of Ashgrove against Campbell Newman. Although she lost her seat at that election, she won it back in 2015 and now holds it with a comfortable margin.
These two resignations come just five days after Mundingburra MP Coralee O’Rourke confirmed that she would not recontest her marginal seat located in Townsville. Mundingburra has been a bellwether seat for the past 10 elections, making it a key battleground seat for both Labor and the LNP. All three Ministers will continue to perform portfolio duties until the government goes into caretaker mode.