Former Qld treasurer De Lacy remembered

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Former Queensland treasurer Keith De Lacy has been remembered as a prudent reformer and "a giant of Labor party" who was respected across the political divide.

Mr De Lacy, who died in November at 81, was remembered by MPs during the condolence motion in parliament on Thursday.

He was Queensland's first Labor treasurer in 32 years after the fall of Joh Bjelke-Petersen's National Party government in 1989, and by the time the Goss government was voted out in 1996 he had become the state's third-longest serving treasurer.

Current treasurer Cameron Dick said Mr De Lacy oversaw huge, reforming investments in schools, public housing, hospitals and new teachers.

"All this had to be done while assuring Queenslanders that the Labor government had a firm hand on the financial till," Mr Dick said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Mr De Lacy had had a vast a varied career as a tobacco farmer, treasurer, miner and company director, while always sticking up for his hometown of Cairns.

"And as I said to the house when he passed away late last year, he was a big, big champion for Cairns in the far north of our state," she said.

"His family should be incredibly proud."

The Cairns local grew up on a tobacco farm near Mareeba-Dimbulah and worked as a coalminer before joining the Labor Party in 1970.

He failed to win the seat of Barron River at the 1980 election, but won the nearby seat of Cairns three years later.

Current Cairns MP Michael Healy remembered how Mr De Lacy had told him "politics is only one peg up from a used car salesman" when he told the former treasurer he was planning to run for parliament.

"It was at this stage that I decided not to mention the fact that I had indeed been a used car salesman," Mr Healy told parliament to roars of laughter.

He said Mr De Lacy was instrumental in guiding and shaping the growth of Cairns and started a program significant investments in far north Queensland.

"Keith De Lacy's contribution to the city of Cairns and to the state of Queensland can best be described as enormous," Mr Healy said.

"Vale, Keith Earnest De Lacy."

Liberal National Party David Crisafulli noted the former treasurer's vast contributions to the business, including serving on the board of nine companies, after his time in politics.

He said the best way to judge Mr De Lacy's contribution to public life wasn't what his allies said about him, but his political opponents.

"Those who would normally have been numbered against Mr De Lacy held him in the highest of regards, a clear testimony to his ability to cut across the political divide," the opposition leader said.

Mr Healy also quoted former Liberal premier Rob Borbidge, who said: "'Keith De Lacy was a giant of the Goss-era Labor Party. He made a substantial contribution to public affairs in this state'."

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