Byrne steps down due to ill­ness

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE -

QUEENS­LAND’S Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture, Fish­eries and Ru­ral Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Bill Byrne has re­signed.

Premier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk made the an­nounce­ment on Satur­day.

“Due to a se­ri­ous med­i­cal con­di­tion, Bill Byrne has ten­dered his res­ig­na­tion,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Bill will not re-con­test the seat of Rock­hamp­ton at the next state elec­tion, but he will serve the re­main­der of this term in the Par­lia­ment.

“Bill has been ad­vised that his con­di­tion is life-threat­en­ing, and he will un­der­take more tests in Brisbane next week.”

AgForce general pres­i­dent Grant Maud­s­ley said he had es­tab­lished a good work­ing re­la­tion­ship with Mr Byrne dur­ing his two stints as the state’s agri­cul­ture min­is­ter.

“A strong agri­cul­tural sec­tor un­der­pins a strong Queens­land econ­omy, so it’s vi­tal the Min­is­ter is a strong ad­vo­cate for agri­cul­ture both in the com­mu­nity and in the Cab­i­net room,” he said.

“While we have had our dis­agree­ments with the Palaszczuk Gov­ern­ment - most no­tably over veg­e­ta­tion man­age­ment laws, Mr Byrne has al­ways been will­ing to lis­ten to and dis­cuss farm­ers’ con­cerns, in­clud­ing at an AgForce fo­rum in Rock­hamp­ton just last month.

“AgForce also ac­knowl­edges Mr Byrne’s ef­forts in rolling out wild dog ex­clu­sion fenc­ing and help­ing to se­cure stamp duty ex­emp­tions for farm­ers pass­ing down the fam­ily farm to the next gen­er­a­tion.

“We wish Mr Byrne all the best in his life after pol­i­tics.”

The premier has asked State De­vel­op­ment, Nat­u­ral Re­sources and Mines Min­is­ter Dr An­thony Lyn­ham to serve as Act­ing Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture, Fish­eries and Ru­ral Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment.

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