One of the Queensland Government’s most popular Ministers, Kate Jones, has sensationally quit State Parliament.
The Tourism and State Development Minister made the shock announcement on Thursday.
“As I’m sure all honourable members can appreciate this has been a very difficult decision for me and my family,” Ms Jones told parliament.
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“It has been an absolute honour to serve the people of my local community as their State Member.
“I’m proud of what has been delivered in my time since I was first pre-selected by the great Australian Labor Party in 2005 to contest the electorate of Ashgrove 15 years ago.
“Successfully elected in the 2006 election, I was the first woman and youngest person to represent Ashgrove in the Queensland Parliament.
“At the time, I recall there was a lot of talk both within and outside of the party about whether a young single woman in her 20s could actually win the seat, that feels like a lifetime ago when we see how many women are in this Parliament today.”
Ms Jones said the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast was one of the biggest highlights of her career.
“I’m sure with the Premier, the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games will be something we will remember throughout our life and was a major highlight for all of us,” she said.
In a statement to myGC, Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said Jones “may be small in stature, but the next Tourism Minister will have very big shoes to fill.”
“I would like to thank Kate for her service to both the Gold Coast and broader Queensland,” the Mayor said.
“As Tourism and Games Minister she stood out as someone who understood how much could be achieved when all tiers of government worked together.”
Mr Tate said he and Jones worked together on some amazing achievements for the Gold Coast, including delivering the Commonwealth Games and hosting the Logies.
“She would listen when I told her what Gold Coasters needed and wanted and understood that we were a unique city with unique needs,” he said.
The 41-year-old is the third Palaszczuk Government Minister in less than a week to announce they will not be contesting the upcoming State election on October 31.
Energy Minister Anthony Lynham and Disabilities Minister Coralee O’Rourke also revealed earlier this week that they will be leaving.
Kate Jones was first elected to parliament in 2006 before being ousted by former premier Campbell Newman in 2012.
She was returned in 2015 when she beat the former LNP leader.