Consultants named as Qld govt dept heads

·2-min read

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has named two consultants who advised her on COVID-19 strategy as acting directors-general of government departments.

She says former state Labor MP Mike Kaiser will head the Department of Resources for three months until the position can be advertised and a "meritorious" appointment made.

Communications strategist and Labor administrator John Lee will temporarily head the Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport under the same arrangement.

Ms Palaszczuk says she expects all directors-general to support ministers and serve Queenslanders.

"We've got a big job ahead of us and I expect everyone to roll up their sleeves and get on with our COVID recovery," she said in a statement on Friday.

Both acting directors-general have been paid to advise the government on strategy during the pandemic.

Mr Lee consulted on the government's COVID-19 response and economic recovery taskforce, while Mr Kaiser advised Ms Palaszczuk's office on an economic recovery roadmap.

The former is the younger brother of former federal Labor MP Michael Lee and was chief of staff for NSW premier Nathan Rees in 2008.

Mr Kaiser, a former Labor state secretary, was the Member for Woodridge between 2000 and 2001, when he resigned from Queensland parliament after admitting to vote-rigging as a student in the 1980s.

He quit after telling the Shepherdson Inquiry that he had signed a false voter enrolment form when he was a university student in 1986.

Mr Kaiser was invited back into the Labor fold as assistant national secretary in 2003 before being appointed chief of staff for then NSW premier Morris Iemma two years later.

Mr Kaiser was appointed to the same role for Queensland premier Anna Bligh in 2007 before he was controversially tapped for a role at the National Broadband Network being rolled out by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's government in 2009.

He stayed at the NBN until 2013 before becoming a partner at KPMG.