Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk arrives at Government House in Brisbane, Tuesday, December 12, 2017.  DAN PELED/ AAP
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk arrives at Government House in Brisbane, Tuesday, December 12, 2017. DAN PELED/ AAP

New positions ‘amount to seat warming’

A DECADE ago, Beattie government MP Chris Cummins earned the rather unfortunate moniker "The Minister for Nothing".

While he pocketed a minister's salary and cruised around in a chauffeur-driven car, Cummins' portfolio responsibilities amounted to managing just a single piece of legislation.

The Kawana MP's admission that he earned his Cabinet call up because of his Sunshine Coast postcode and factional alliances rather than his abilities only made matter worse.

With her expanded Cabinet and five-strong team of so-called assistant ministers, Annastacia Palaszczuk has now risked creating a new generation of "Ministers for Not Much".

Adding an extra minister isn't an inexpensive exercise given it involves not just extra pay and perks for the appointee but a fully staffed office.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (centre front) and members of the 56th Parliament pose for a photograph at Parliament House. Picture: AAP/Sarah Marshall
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (centre front) and members of the 56th Parliament pose for a photograph at Parliament House. Picture: AAP/Sarah Marshall

It's worthwhile, however, when it's done to focus government effort on a particular area of community concern.

However, Queensland's re-elected Labor Government seems to have expanded its ministry simply because it has a few more mouths to feed.

For example, Barron River MP Craig Crawford's ministerial duties amount to carving off a small slice of the police portfolio, fire and emergency services.

Crawford, from the dominant Left faction, is the minister that the far north just had to have after Curtis Pitt was punted from the treasury portfolio.

Sound familiar?

Palaszczuk has also expanded the number of assistant ministers from two to five without explanation.

These positions - which earn a tidy $82,000 extra - aren't actually responsible for anything and amount mostly to seat warming at second rate events.

Good work, if you can get it.



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