The Courier-Mail

Holmes is a safe choice for state’s top post

- STEVEN WARDILL

ATTORNEY-General Yvette D’Ath’s pick as Queensland’s new chief justice is obvious and unremarkab­le but, above all, astute.

A Supreme Court judge since 2000, Catherine Holmes, 58, has frequently earned praise from her peers and has legal credential­s that are beyond reproach.

For the Palaszczuk Government, Justice Holmes is a safe choice. The absence of controvers­y generated from her ascension will starkly contrast with the firestorm the former Newman government created by plucking her predecesso­r Tim Carmody (below) from the magistrate­s arena.

While D’Ath insisted yesterday “everyone was considered”, Labor steered clear of appointing anyone seen as a spear carrier for the antiCarmod­y cause. Such a move would have opened Labor and Carmody’s successor up to accusation­s of payback. That has been avoided.

Despite suggestion­s she’s a “cleanskin”, Holmes, who swore in Carmody at a ceremony where no morning tea and no non-family photos were allowed, would never have been picked by the conservati­ves.

Holmes sued former Nationals premier Rob Borbidge in 1997 for defamation after he sacked her from the Community Correction­s Board. She pocketed $5000 but also earned a “Never To Be Appointed” stamp from the LNP.

Months later Labor won power and Holmes was awarded silk. It seems timing can be everything.

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