What you don't know about Queensland's Opposition leader
TQ: What's another name for Queensland's Opposition?
A: Snow White and her Seven Dwarfs. he butt of the aforementioned punchline, Annastacia Palaszczuk, has heard all the jokes, including the one about how the Queensland Opposition gets to work every day – by Maxi Taxi. The 44-year-old leader of Labor's much-depleted cabinet can even summon a polite smile when reminded of all the one-liners that followed the decimation of the state ALP on the night of March 24, 2012. But beneath the humour lay the serious business of a once-proud party reduced to a handful of (including Anna Bligh, who resigned after winning her seat, Andrew Fraser, Kate Jones and Cameron Dick) and wondering what the hell had hit them.
The annihilation of Queensland Labor by the Campbell Newman-led Liberal National Party was the worst defeat of a sitting government in the state's history. Labor lost 44 seats, and Palaszczuk, whose memory of election night remains “razor sharp”, says she felt every single one of them fall.
“I was at the Channel Seven studio doing live commentary and I felt completely devastated,” Brisbane's CBD. “I had an inkling it was going to be bad; the State Secretary had said earlier that week, `it's going to be a lot worse than people think'. I can't really describe the feelings of that night, except to say I just felt very empty. At one stage it looked like we might have only four seats. I ran into Richo [former federal Labor powerbroker Graham Richardson] and he told me, `Make your comments short and brief, because it looks like you might have a very big job ahead of you'.”
This would prove the political understatement of the year, because Palaszczuk now has to answer what is arguably the biggest ask in Australian contemporary politics. As Queensland's Labor leader, her challenge is to turn around the party's fortunes, regain the people's trust and win enough seats at the next election to safeguard her own position. Palaszczuk casts her eyes around her public fall from grace. While the Queensland Opposition had always been housed on the sixth LNP Government citing the need to use the opposition's traditional base as committee rooms.