Palaszczuk vows 'new beginning' with cabinet reshuffle
Queensland's premier has promised a new beginning to address major issues facing the state while unveiling a rejigged ministry.
Annastacia Palaszczuk insisted she had listened and acted as her revamped cabinet was sworn in, moving ministers out of troubled portfolios and adding responsibilities covering mental health and a path to treaty.
"We need to respond faster to issues, we need to be collectively working together," she said at Government House on Thursday.
"There's no more working in silos, we need to be collaborating across government."
Ms Palaszczuk defended the restructure, saying it was the right time for an overhaul ahead of a state election in October next year.
"That's why I have refreshed the government by refreshing the cabinet and today marks a new beginning," she said.
The highest-profile change was former attorney-general Shannon Fentiman swapping roles with outgoing health minister Yvette D'Ath.
Her tenure in health was plagued by long ambulance wait times, forensic lab bungles and gaps in maternity services.
Ms Fentiman, a future leadership hopeful, acknowledged the problems in health services across the state.
"There are huge challenges and pressures across the system and that's why I will be travelling the length and breadth of Queensland to meet with our hard-working frontline service workers, our nurses, our midwives, our doctors," she said.
Ms D'Ath denied feeling betrayed by the decision to move her back to attorney-general, a role she held until 2020.
"None of us know how long we're going to be doing it for, what's important is what you do with that opportunity," she said.
"I'm very proud of the opportunities I've been given and the work I've done in all of my portfolios."
Rising star Meaghan Scanlon was promoted to housing to tackle the state's growing accommodation crisis.
"Our government is focused on making sure Queenslanders can get a roof over their head," she said.
Amid widespread concern about the government's response to youth crime, the challenge of youth justice falls to Di Farmer, who also retains employment, training and skills.
"We know there is a lot of anxiety and fear in the community and it's our job to make sure the community feels safe and confident," Ms Farmer said.
Former housing minister Leeanne Enoch will work towards an Indigenous treaty in a new portfolio of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander partnerships.
Ms Enoch, the first Indigenous woman elected to Queensland's parliament, said there would always be pressure no matter what portfolio ministers were given.
"Whether that's being able to understand how to navigate a system that's not designed for First Nations people, to be in a cabinet environment that's never been designed for a First Nations person. All of those things have always been on my shoulders," she said.
Leanne Linard's move from youth justice to environment and science was seen as a significant demotion.
The opposition dismissed the reshuffle as a distraction.
"I'm not going to be distracted by governments that are constantly looking at the politics of things and looking for ways to relieve political pressure," Liberal National leader David Crisafulli said.
"I'm looking for ways to relieve people's financial pressure. I'm looking for ways to make sure that the services they rely on are world-class."
A recent poll showed voter support for the Palaszczuk government falling, with Labor behind the LNP on the primary vote and the premier's support sliding to its lowest level since she came to power in 2015.