Senior Palaszczuk Minister to stands down before election

 

Senior Palaszczuk Government Minister Anthony Lynham has announced he will not recontest his seat at the upcoming October election.

It comes amid reports bitter divisions had erupted within the Palaszczuk Government over a behind-the-scenes push to oust him from state parliament.

"It has become very clear to me that I cannot maintain my medical registration as a doctor and give 100 per cent to this job," he told Parliament today.

"And the people of Stafford and Queensland deserve 100 per cent."

Dr Lynham has held the seat of Stafford since 2014, which has a margin of about 12 per cent.

He said he would speak further on it later today.

He is the second minister to announce he was bowing out of politics, ahead of a knife-edge election, after Coralee O'Rourke announced she wouldn't be recontesting her ultra-marginal seat of Mundingburra.

The Courier-Mail today revealed powerful Right faction union, the AWU, was pushing for Dr Lynham to announce his retirement within days.

Minister for Natural Resources Anthony Lynham at a press conference to release the business case for the Rookwood Weir.
Minister for Natural Resources Anthony Lynham at a press conference to release the business case for the Rookwood Weir. Chris Ison ROK240118crookwood2

But the union staunchly denied this, insisting Dr Lynham was an absolute champion of Queensland workers.

"His efforts have made our mines and quarries fairer and safer, and AWU members have hugely benefited from his hard work and dedication," the union said on Facebook.

Dr Lynham won the Stafford by-election in 2014 with a massive 19 per cent swing towards Labor.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane thanked Dr Lynham for his work on behalf of the 372,000 Queenslanders working in or in connection with the resources industry.

"Dr Lynham entered politics to prevent the tragic loss of young Queenslanders to one-punch assaults, but he has achieved much more than that important achievement," Mr Macfarlane said.

"For the resources industry, he oversaw key reforms to reinvigorate mineral and gas exploration, the further development of our gas and critical mineral reserves, and he worked with industry to improve the conditions for the coal, mineral and gas industries to invest more and employ more.

"This work is ongoing."

Minister for Natural Resources and Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham
Minister for Natural Resources and Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham

Mr Macfarlane said Dr Lynham "is a trusted friend and a man of integrity and intelligence".

"Anthony leaves very big shoes that the next Government will need to consider carefully when filling," he said.

Federal Resources, Water and Northern Australia Minister Keith Pitt said Dr Lynham was "one of the few left in Labor who understood the importance of the industry".

"I acknowledge the cooperative approach of Dr Lynham as Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy as we've all worked to keep the industry operating through the coronavirus pandemic," he said.



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