Thursday 15 September 2011

Titanic and the re arrangement of the deck chairs

Paul Lucas to quit politics at next state election

Paul Lucas quits politics Sep 15 2011Deputy Premier Paul Lucas has announced he will retire after the state election.

He will step down as Deputy Premier tomorrow. At a press conference, he said his health scare last year was a wake up call that he "can't ... carry the sort of weight that I'm carrying" so he would work on that.
He thanked the people of Lytton, the "best electorate in Queensland".

He said he couldn't  have asked to serve under two more inspirational leaders - Anna Bligh and Peter Beattie. "I have been incredibly well served by people who have gone above and beyond the call of duty for me," he said.

"Most of all, I would like to thank my family. I am immensely proud of my four children."
He said he was looking forward to spending more time with his children, which sometimes politics makes difficult.

"I haven't even contemplated what I'm going to do ... but I do want to do some charitable work," he said, adding he hoped to mentor young indigenous adults. One of Labor's best parliamentary performers, Mr Lucas, 49, was hit by the payroll scandal during his time as health minister.

He also has been Transport Minister and is currently Attorney-General . Mr Lucas has been hit by health scares. In January 2010, he was hospitalised after having a seizure.
He was elected to Parliament in October 1996 at a by-election for the seat of Lytton, vacated by former Deputy Premier Tom Burns.

Premier Anna Bligh paid tribute to her right-hand man, describing him as "one of the hardest working ministers Queensland has ever had". "His steadying hand as deputy has been crucial for my government as we have worked to create jobs, bolster our economy and improve services," she said in a statement.

She pointed to achievements he oversaw in his former and current portfolios, including the completion of major infrastructure projects while transport minister and leading Australia's largest hospital rebuilding program while health minister.

"Paul's many substantial achievements are too numerous to list he can be proud of his strong record and service to all Queenslanders."

The Premier is expected to call a press conference this afternoon.

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