New Queensland Premier Steven Miles poses with wife Kim and family.
New Queensland Premier Steven Miles poses with his wife Kim and family after he was sworn in. Image by Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS
  • politics

New premier announces ambitious climate target

Keira Jenkins December 15, 2023

It has been a busy day for Steven Miles who hit the ground running as Queensland’s 40th premier.

Mr Miles was quick to reveal his vision on Friday soon after being elected unanimously to lead the Labor party and then being sworn in as premier.

He officially took over the top job barely a week after Annastacia Palaszczuk’s shock resignation which ended almost nine years at the helm.

Mr Miles didn’t waste time, using his first speech as premier to outline his bold plan for a 75 per cent emissions reduction target by 2035.

“We are making a very clear statement to the world that Queensland is the place to do business if you’re looking to use clean energy to create prosperity,” he said.

The new target will be legislated.

The Queensland government had earlier committed to a 30 per cent reduction of 2005 levels and net zero by 2050. 

Improving health and housing as well as tackling youth crime were also priorities. 

“I can’t fix the youth crime problem on my own, we need everyone to step up and we need to work together,” he said.

Mr Miles confirmed an independent authority would be established to review 2032 Brisbane Olympic infrastructure plans, with the controversial $2.7 billion Gabba rebuild on the list.

He also promised to meet with supermarkets over the cost of living crisis and bring back the Queensland leader’s forum.

Incoming Premier Steven Miles.
 New Queensland Premier Steven Miles at his swearing-in ceremony. Image by Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS 

Mr Miles earlier revealed a new-look cabinet on Friday before being sworn in alongside his Deputy Premier Cameron Dick. 

It marks the first time since 2005 the Queensland Labor party has two men at the helm.

Nikki Boyd, Bart Mellish, Michael Healy, Lance McCallum and Charis Mullen will all be given frontbench positions. 

“They are younger, they are energetic, they are ready to deliver a fresh new approach for Queenslanders,” Mr Miles said.

Mark Bailey, Stirling Hinchliffe and Craig Crawford have lost their ministerial portfolios. 

The cabinet, which will be expanded from 18 ministers to 19, is due to be sworn in on Monday.

The new premier backed Labor to win next year’s state election. 

“While we are the underdog I am confident we can do this,” he said.

“Ultimately, I’m a suburban Queensland dad with three kids, and so many Queenslanders are like me, and I want to demonstrate to them that I understand what concerns them in their day-to-day lives and how government can help them.”

Mr Miles emerged as the frontrunner to take over the top job soon after Ms Palaszczuk’s surprise announcement on Sunday.

An emotional Ms Palaszczuk stepped down after 12 years as Labor leader, quickly endorsing Mr Miles as the next premier.

Mr Miles faced a brief leadership challenge from Health Minister Shannon Fentiman before her bid was withdrawn amid speculation of a backroom union deal.

Annastacia Palaszczuk
 Annastacia Palaszczuk shocked colleagues when she announced she would resign as premier. Image by Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS 

Mr Miles has big shoes to fill.

Ms Palaszczuk was Australia’s longest-serving sitting premier.

She went from an opposition with seven seats to becoming premier in 2015, going on to become the first woman to lead a party to three state election victories.

Ms Palaszczuk will also depart her Inala seat, prompting a by-election.

She has kept a low profile since Sunday but officially tendered her resignation on Friday, taking effect from 5pm on December 31.

“It has been a great honour to serve the Inala electorate community since September 9, 2006 and I take this opportunity (to) wish them and all Queenslanders the very best for the future,” her resignation letter said.