Annastacia Palaszczuk and her new Cabinet have been sworn in at Government House today, four days after officially claiming victory after the November 25 election.
Ms Palaszczuk officially announced the full make-up of her Cabinet yesterday, boosting the ministry to 18 and appointing five assistant ministers.
The Premier has pledged that one of her first orders of business following today’s swearing in would be to send a letter to the Commonwealth officially vetoing Adani’s application for a taxpayer-funded loan to build a rail line from its planned Galilee Basin coal mine to Abbot Point.
The swearing in came after her new Labor Cabinet came under fire from her own side, with one of the country’s most powerful unions saying some ministers are “not up for the job”.
CFMEU Queensland branch secretary Michael Ravbar said some of the new ministers had failed in their previous positions but “unbelievably” had been allowed to stay on.
“The Premier must have kept these individuals and their portfolios based on friendship and/or loyalty because it would not be based on performance,” he said in a statement today.
The statement was released just minutes before Labor’s new ministry was to be sworn in at Government House.
Mr Ravbar said the new Cabinet members were not the right team to help progress the state and help rebuild Labor’s relationship with regional Queensland, though he did not single out individual ministers.
“The Labor Government was given the chance to move forward and get on with the job by establishing a strong new team with the capacity, enthusiasm and skills to build Queensland’s economic prosperity,” he said.
“Whilst there are some hard working and talented members of the premier’s new cabinet, others are simply not up for the job.”
The powerful union was one of the biggest backers of Labor throughout the election campaign.
But Mr Ravbar said the CFMEU was disappointed with Ms Palaszczuk’s new team. “It isn’t the dynamic, visionary and hardworking team that Queensland needs and deserves,” he said.
“The CFMEU will ensure that this Labor government is held accountable, governs and performs for all Queenslanders during its term.”
The Cabinet has undergone a reshuffle with the first three ministers announced making up a senior team focused on growing jobs across the state.
On Sunday Ms Palaszczuk appointed herself the head of the group of “four economic ministers” and said she would take on the trade portfolio and chair the cabinet budget review committee
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad was made Treasurer, Cameron Dick moves from health to state development, infrastructure and planning, and Kate Jones adds innovation to her tourism and Commonwealth Games responsibilities.
Meanwhile, former treasurer Curtis Pitt has been sidelined from Cabinet and will instead sit in the speaker’s chair for the coming term.
The cabinet has been expanded by one to 18, with Barron River MP Craig Crawford being added to the mix to ensure far north Queensland is still represented following Mr Pitt’s departure.
On Monday afternoon the remaining ministers were named and the new cabinet includes nine men and nine women, a ratio Ms Palaszczuk said reflects Queensland’s population.
Key announcements on Monday included the elevation of Steven Miles from Environment to the Health ministry, while Grace Grace adds Education to her Industrial Relations responsibilities.
Mark Bailey continues as Main Roads minister, adding Transport to his portfolio while dropping the Energy brief, which has been picked up by Anthony Lynham, who also remains Natural Resources and Mines minister.
Capalaba MP Don Brown was announced as the government’s chief whip. The opposition Liberal National Party is due to elect a new leader at a partyroom meeting on Tuesday and Nanango MP Deb Frecklington is shaping as the favourite.