Colleagues full of praise for Qld minister facing axe
Queensland ministers have praised the state's health minister despite Yvette D'Ath facing the axe from her troubled portfolio in a reshuffle.
Senior ALP sources remain tight-lipped, but Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman and Ms D'Ath are expected to swap positions as cabinet colleagues staunchly defend the health minister.
Police Minister Mark Ryan on Wednesday praised Ms D'Ath's "great work" in what he conceded was a problematic portfolio.
"Health is one of the hardest portfolios - it's relentless," he said.
"(Ms D'Ath) has done a lot of good work in very difficult times. Remember, she was a health minister during COVID.
"There's lots of pressure on public health systems across the world - she's done a great job.
"I wish her well in whatever portfolio she serves in ... she will do a great job there as well."
Ms D'Ath has faced criticism over a raft of problems, including ambulance ramping, botched DNA testing at the state's forensic lab and problems with maternity services in central Queensland.
She was the state's attorney-general from 2017 before being appointed to health in November 2020.
Resources Minister Scott Stewart insisted it was an "absolute honour to serve" and the reshuffle was a matter for the premier.
"We all serve the cabinet for our portfolios in the best of our abilities," he said.
"That's up to the premier - the premier makes decisions that best suit her and best suit the cabinet, best suit the government and best suit what Queenslanders need."
Treasurer Cameron Dick was missing in action on Wednesday at a media conference with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
Mr Dick's staff insisted the treasurer - who was health minister from 2015 to 2017 - was too busy working on the upcoming Queensland budget to attend.
The government has faced sustained criticism over problems with health services, housing and youth crime.
Youth Justice Minister Leanne Linard and Housing Minister Leeanne Enoch are also expected to be casualties in the reshuffle, with Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon reported to be taking on the housing portfolio.
The Liberal National opposition is celebrating the changes after months of attacks on the government.
Health spokeswoman Ros Bates said the reshuffle would not address the critical flaws in the government.
"It doesn't matter who Annastacia Palaszczuk puts in as the health minister, it's Annastacia Palaszczuk who has presided over the chaos and crisis that is Queensland Health," she said.
"This is just shifting people around the table now. Cameron Dick, Steven Miles and Yvette D'Ath have all been health ministers in Queensland, they have all sat around the cabinet table making the same decisions and nothing has changed."
LNP deputy leader Jarrod Bleijie called for Ms D'Ath to be axed.
"This is a government that has been in power for over eight years in Queensland. We have seen the youth justice crime crisis, we've seen the homelessness and the housing crisis and we have seen the health crisis," Mr Bleijie said.
"No one in this government has taken responsibility. There are no consequences by a simple reshuffle using the existing people.
"It's the same old circus with the same clowns and the ringmaster is Annastacia Palaszczuk."
Recent polls show falling support for the government, including a seven-point plunge to 31 per cent for Ms Palaszczuk's approval rating - her worst performance since coming into office in 2015.
Labor's primary vote fell one point to 33 per cent, while LNP support increased one point to 39 per cent in April polling published in the Courier-Mail.