Over the past 18 months, state and territory leaders have grown in prominence due to the COVID-19 pandemic and governmental response. Let’s get to know Queensland’s leader below.
Prior to becoming a politician herself, Palaszczuk worked as a policy adviser for a variety of Labor Ministers. Her introduction to becoming a politician was unique as she succeeded her father Henry Palaszczuk in the seat of Inala at the 2006 election. Once elected, and prior to becoming Premier, she held a variety of roles, including Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Transport.
2012 and rebuilding
Following Labor’s 2012 election loss, Palaszczuk rose to become Leader. As Leader of the Opposition, Palaszczuk worked to rebuild the Labor Party election post-defeat.
Palaszczuk was then elected as Premier in 2015 and again in 2017. By the 2020 election, she won by a landslide and entered that election with a 60 percent approval rating. She is the first female party leader to win three elections and the longest-serving Australian female head of government, passing the Northern Territory’s Clare Martin.
One of the greatest challenges as Premier (as with most leaders), has been the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite criticisms from those outside Queensland, Palaszczuk’s response was received well by those within Queensland (evidenced by Labor’s electoral success last year).
Now, with no election in sight for Palaszczuk, attention has turned to how Queensland will vote at the next Federal Election. While Queensland delivered the Coalition several key seats last election, tensions over health advice, vaccines and lockdowns have flared between Palaszczuk and the Federal Government in recent months.