Children walk through flood waters near Redlynch in Cairns.
Flooded roads have hampered access to towns in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Jasper. Image by Brian Cassey/AAP PHOTOS
  • politics

Queensland flooding first priority for new ministers

Keira Jenkins December 19, 2023

Queensland’s new Disaster Recovery Minister Nikki Boyd says she is ready to hit the ground running in the face of flash flooding caused by cyclone Jasper.

“I’ll be looking to get up to Cairns and support the people of Far North Queensland as soon as it’s possible for me to do so,” she said.

Bart Mellish, the new Transport and Main Roads Minister also said his focus is on the regions affected by Cyclone Jasper.

“It’s day one, my priority is absolutely the situation unfolding in north Queensland,” he said.

“All the major state roads up there are cut …”

Ms Boyd and Mr Mellish are two of the “fresh faces” to join Queensland’s ministry, following newly anointed premier Steven Miles’ major reshuffle.

“What you have in our government is fresh faces, new ideas, the right mix of youth and experience,” Mr Miles said shortly after his cabinet was sworn in on Monday.

“And now everyone, it’s time to get to work.”

Lance McCallum is also joining the cabinet, making him the first Indigenous man in the Queensland ministry.

He’s responsible for the employment, small business, training and skills development portfolios.

“I didn’t see many people like me in leadership positions when I was growing up and it’s hard to be what you can’t see,” Mr McCallum said.

The cabinet shake-up comes after Annastacia Palaszczuk’s shock resignation.

After nine years in the top job, she was Australia’s longest-serving premier.

Ms Palaszczuk will vacate her Inala seat by the end of 2023, prompting a by-election.