Byrne steps down due to illness
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.