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Who is Queensland’s incoming Premier Steven Miles?

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Who is Steven Miles? The Deputy tipped to become Queensland's new Premier after Annastacia Palaszczuk announced she would retire.
Who is Steven Miles?

Queensland’s Deputy Premier Steven Miles will become the state’s new leader after Annastacia Palaszczuk announced her resignation on Sunday.

Miles, who was endorsed by the outgoing leader, is the sole contender to become Premier. His main challenger Shannon Fentiman bowed out of the leadership race this morning.

Who is Steven Miles?

Steven Miles worked for trade unions before he was elected to state Parliament in 2015, when QLD Labor unexpectedly defeated the Liberal National Party (LNP) government.

Miles became the state’s Environment Minister and its first Minister for the Great Barrier Reef. He has a PhD in political science.

In his inaugural parliamentary speech, Miles identified the environment and education as the two main drivers of his “political activism”.

Political career

Miles became QLD’s Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services in 2017. He became Deputy Premier in 2020 after his predecessor Jackie Trad stood down over corruption allegations.

Miles became well-known during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic when he held both roles of Deputy Premier and Health Minister.

He is the current Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning.

Lifting his profile

As Deputy Premier and Health Minister, Steven Miles faced criticism over QLD’s border closure during the pandemic. The state kept its borders shut late into 2021 to avoid an outbreak of the deadly Delta strain of COVID-19.

Miles accused ministers in the then-Morrison Government of “piling on” him.

In 2021, Miles was accused of using an expletive to describe former PM Scott Morrison during a speech at a Brisbane event. He blamed his mispronunciation of the word ‘contrast’ on a stutter.

Policies

During Sunday’s resignation announcement, Palaszczuk named Steven Miles as her preferred successor. Miles thanked the outgoing Premier and commended her achievements before outlining key policy areas he would focus on as Premier.

His list included cost of living relief, more housing and energy jobs, healthcare reforms and ensuring lasting benefits for QLD from the Olympics and Paralympics, which will be hosted by Brisbane in 2032.

What now?

QLD Labor MPs will now meet on Friday to confirm Miles as their new leader.

There will be a state election in Queensland in less than a year. Numerous polls have shown the Labor Government is facing a fierce challenge from the LNP opposition, with voters citing cost of living as their main concern ahead of a vote in October 2024.

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