Palaszczuk on the reshuffle


4BC Mornings: Leader of the Opposition Annastacia Palaszczuk joins Greg Cary and responds to the resignation of Arts Minister Ros Bates, the sacking of Director-General of the Department of Transport and Main Roads Michael Caltabiano and why Mr Newman should have promoted another woman to cabinet.

Minor Qld reshuffle after Bates resigns

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman's decision not to announce a wider cabinet reshuffle reveals his tenuous position within his government, the opposition says.

Mr Newman's judgment has been attacked after his hand-picked, trouble-prone arts and IT minister Ros Bates resigned on Friday.

Hours later, his transport director general Michael Caltabiano was told to pack his bags by March 15.

The premier said he would consider a wider cabinet reshuffle but on Sunday there were only minor changes.

Mansfield MP Ian Walker was announced as Ms Bates' successor.

Mr Newman says Mr Walker narrowly missed out on becoming housing minister in November when Bruce Flegg resigned.

"He's made it today," Mr Newman said.

Mr Walker was praised for being a strong performer as assistant minister for planning reform.

Southport MP Rob Molhoek will take over that position and first-time MP Tarnya Smith, a junior whip, will take over as assistant minister for child safety.

Mr Walker wouldn't comment on whether he believed Ms Bates had cast a shadow over his new department and insisted he had "a lot of faith in the premier's judgment and my own performance".

Ms Bates resigned after months of criticism for alleged nepotism, her contact with lobbyists and the amount of leave she's taken.

On Saturday morning, it was revealed her close friend Kaye Martin was awarded a department contract and appointed to a board position with Screen Queensland.

Mr Newman said Ms Bates left for health and family reasons and the latest debacle wasn't known at the time of her resignation.

He refused to say if he would have fired her if he had known.

He also wouldn't say why he sacked Mr Caltabiano and wouldn't comment "for legal reasons".

Mr Caltabiano, who had worked with Mr Newman at the Brisbane City Council, had also been involved in a nepotism scandal.

Ms Bates son, Ben Gommers, was given a plum job in his department.

Parliament's Ethics Committee and the Crime and Misconduct Commission are investigating.

Mr Newman said he took full responsibility for Ms Bates' and Mr Caltabiano's downfalls.

The opposition says the premier's failure to deliver a wider reshuffle underlines his lack of authority within his own government.

"The limited nature of the changes highlight the premier's tenuous position within his own government," Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

Ms Palaszczuk also criticised Mr Newman for not promoting a regional politician or a woman.

Only two of the 19-member cabinet are women.

Mr Walker is expected to be sworn in this week.


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