BLM supporters continue to protest Biden’s consideration of LA Mayor Garcetti for cabinet


Black Lives Matter activists protested outside the home of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, opposing the mayor’s potential nomination to President-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet. 

A few hundred people gathered at the house Saturday morning chanting “F— Garcetti.” “Garcetti is the worst mayor in the nation, don’t choose him for transportation,” other protesters reportedly shouted. 

Demonstrators have gathered near Garcetti’s home for days. On Thanksgiving, the protest was declared an unlawful assembly and two people were arrested, according to Fox 11 Los Angeles. 

Protesters vowed to gather “every single day” at 9 a.m. “We’re telling @joebiden not to appoint @mayorofla to his cabinet. We won’t allow his failed policies to become a part of the national agenda,” Black Lives Matter Los Angeles wrote on its Facebook page. 

Garcetti served as co-chair of the Biden-Harris campaign but has repeatedly said he is not seeking a cabinet position.

He reportedly has been under consideration for secretary of Transportation or Housing and Urban Development.

When asked Monday if he’d consider a position, Garcetti told reporters it was “one of the last things” on his mind. 

LA MAYOR GARCETTI CAUGHT BETWEEN LOCAL TROUBLES, POSSIBLE BIDEN CABINET POSITION 

“I have been focused 110% … on COVID and on saving lives,” Garcetti said. “It’s one of the last things on my mind right now. You know, we have deaths that are going to be increasing, we have record numbers of cases, and so I don’t have anything to add on that, not because I have anything to hide, I just have nothing to add. Right now, my job No. 1 is to make sure I protect the lives of Angelenos.”

Black Lives Matter activists have been critical of his handling of the LAPD and police brutality protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

During the summer the mayor rejected the group’s proposal to cut the police department’s $1.8 billion operating budget by 90%.

“We are demanding that [Garcetti] stop giving the most murderous police department in the U.S. a blank check,” BLM-LA stated in an email, obtained by City News Service.

BIDEN EDUCATION SECRETARY FRONTRUNNERS HAVE BEEN CRITICAL OF CHARTER SCHOOLS, BACK TEACHER UNIONS 

The email continued: “We must defund the police and invest in life-affirming services. We also demand that the Biden administration refuse to select L.A.’s sycophant, self-seeking mayor for a Cabinet position in which he is completely unqualified.”

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Biden has rolled out Cabinet and other administration picks this week. They include Antony Blinken as secretary of state, Alejandro Mayorkas as secretary of homeland security, and Avril Haines, who would be the first woman to lead the intelligence community.

Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.



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Progressive groups want ‘squad member’ Rashida Tlaib in Biden cabinet


Progressive groups are pushing President-elect Joe Biden to include more candidates who lean further to the left than him in his cabinet, including a member of the “Squad,” as they seek influence over policymaking.

The Sunrise Movement, a group focused on the urgency of climate change, is advocating for cabinet picks who have no ties to fossil fuel companies or corporate lobbyists. It’s a wish list that includes Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., for secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Justice Democrats, which has a stated goal of building a “mission-driven caucus” in Congress by electing more leaders like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., also signed off on the list, which also includes Reps. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash.

Tlaib, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, is a vocal critic of President Trump.

She also recently lashed out at fellow Democrats, some of whom blamed down-ballot losses on progressive members of the party, telling Politico that she isn’t interested in unity if it comes at the cost of people’s rights and freedoms.

BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTESTERS DEMAND LA MAYOR BE EXCLUDED FROM BIDEN CABINET: REPORTS

Meanwhile, Biden appeared to throw cold water on the idea that Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., might be tapped for cabinet roles during an interview with NBC this week.

He claimed he already had “significant representation among progressives” in his administration, and taking a Democrat out of the Senate or the House would be a difficult decision.

“I have a very ambitious, very progressive agenda and it’s going to take really strong leaders in the House and Senate to get it done,” Biden said.

Sanders has been a progressive favorite for labor secretary, and Warren had been eyeing the role of Treasury Secretary, which was  offered to former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

Biden has also taken on a number of staffers who previously served in the Obama administration, and is consequently fending off the idea that his tenure will essentially resemble a third term for former President Barack Obama.

“This is not a third Obama term because we face a totally different world than we faced in the Obama-Biden administration,” Biden told NBC News. “President Trump has changed the landscape, it’s become ‘America first,’ which meant America alone.”

Biden said he selected certain individuals to serve in his administration because they represent the spectrums of both the American people and the Democratic Party.

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SA Premier to ask National Cabinet to introduce pre-flight coronavirus testing for returning travellers


South Australia’s Premier is urging change to repatriation arrangements for overseas citizens, and wants all returning travellers to undergo mandatory coronavirus tests before boarding flights.

However, such a change would have to be approved by National Cabinet, Steven Marshall said.

The proposal was part of an eight-point plan outlined by Mr Marshall today, in response to a coronavirus cluster linked to one of Adelaide’s medi-hotels housing returned travellers.

“We will ask National Cabinet to consider testing all returning Australian citizens prior to their flight with a view that they must have negative test results before boarding,” Mr Marshall said this morning.

It was revealed yesterday that two people previously thought to have acquired COVID-19 overseas caught the virus while in quarantine at the Peppers Waymouth Hotel.

The push comes after comments from Qantas boss Alan Joyce, who yesterday indicated the airline would require international passengers to be vaccinated, once a vaccine becomes available.

There has also been a surge in domestic flight bookings within Australia in the past 24 hours, as Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced her state would reopen its borders to Victorians from next month.

Mr Marshall said a change in the system so that overseas arrivals were tested before getting on flights would have to happen nationally, rather than just for flights coming into Adelaide, since flights were often rerouted.

South Australia has cancelled all incoming flights until at least November 30 to sort out problems in the state’s medi-hotel system and allow space for locals associated with the Parafield cluster to quarantine.

International flights into Adelaide have been cancelled until at least November 30.(ABC News: Dean Faulkner)

Mr Marshall said he had written to the Commonwealth to ask that the pause be extended.

About 600 people had been arriving in Adelaide each week, with up to 1,200 in quarantine in CBD hotels.

“We are still committed to the repatriation of Australian citizens who are stranded overseas. We want to play our part,” Mr Marshall said.

“But we’re not going to rush into this. We’re going to gradually step back into receiving those people when we receive that advice from Health that it is safe to do so.”

A doctor in protective gear talks to a woman outside a coronavirus testing clinic
Testing for overseas arrivals normally takes place twice while they are in quarantine.(AAP: David Mariuz)

Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas also wants South Australia’s intake of repatriated Australians suspended.

“We’ve got to put a hold on the medi-hotel program,” he said.

“The Premier has done that to the end of the week; by next week it’s due to recommence.

“I think it would be a borderline irrational thing to do when we haven’t even figured out what went wrong.”

SA Labor is also pushing for an independent review into how the outbreak started.

The federal Department of Health and Health Minister Greg Hunt have been contacted for comment.



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Joe Biden says US is ‘back and ready to lead’ as cabinet picks are introduced


US president-elect Joe Biden says his foreign policy agenda will see the United States retake its global leadership role and strengthen its alliances in the Asia-Pacific.

Speaking as he introduced his cabinet picks to the nation, Mr Biden said his selection for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, would rebuild morale and trust in the US State Department.

He said his team would pursue the belief “that America is strongest when it works with its allies”.

In addition to Mr Blinken, Mr Biden’s security team includes Obama White House veteran Jake Sullivan as national security adviser; veteran diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield as US ambassador to the United Nations; lawyer Alejandro Mayorkas to be homeland security secretary; and Avril Haines, a former deputy director of the CIA, to serve as director of national intelligence.

Lisa Thomas-Greenfield was the former assistant secretary of state for African affairs.(AP: Carolyn Kaster)

Ms Haines, if confirmed in the Senate, will be the first woman to hold that post.

Former secretary of state John Kerry will be special envoy on climate change.

‘We can’t solve all of the world’s problems alone’

You view a man of Caucasian descent with grey hair wearing a navy suit and blue tie while talking at a lectern.
Antony Blinken says the US “needs to be working with other countries”.(AP: Carolyn Kaster)

Speaking about his calls with world leaders, Mr Biden said he had been struck by “how much they’re looking forward to the United States reasserting its historic role as a global leader over the Pacific, as well as the Atlantic, all across the world.”

He also vowed to strengthen alliances in the Asia-Pacific while touting the diplomatic experience of his team, which he said had secured “some of the most defining national security and diplomatic achievements in recent memory” with American allies.

“That’s how we truly keep America safe. Without engaging in needless military conflicts, and our adversaries in check,” he said.

Mr Blinken also stressed the need to work with allies, who Mr Trump often made a target for public criticism as part of his “America First” approach to foreign policy.

“We need to be working with other countries, we need their cooperation, we need their partnership.”

Biden’s picks will face Republican Senate opposition

You view a Caucasian woman wearing a dark suit and yellow scarf talking into microphones at a lectern.
If confirmed in the Senate, Avril Haines would be the first woman to serve as director of national intelligence.(AP: Carolyn Kaster)

Mr Biden, who is due to take office on January 20, said he hoped the presently Republican-dominated Senate would give a prompt hearing to his nominees.

Mr Kerry and Mr Sullivan’s roles will not require Senate confirmation.

With the Senate’s balance of power hinging on two run-off races in Georgia that will be decided in January, some Senate Republicans have already expressed antipathy to Mr Biden’s picks as little more than an extension of the Obama administration.

Arkansas Senate Republican Tom Cotton labelled the picks as “panda huggers” who would go soft on China.

Florida Republican Marco Rubio, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that will consider Mr Blinken’s nomination, also poured cold water over Mr Biden’s picks.

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But Mr Biden’s transition team hailed the president-elect’s selection as a group of “crisis-tested leaders”, be ready to hit the ground running in the new administration.

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John Barron explains the transition of power to president-elect Joe Biden.

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Queensland Opposition Leader David Crisafulli unveils shadow cabinet


Queensland’s outgoing Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington is one of three former party leaders handed a seat at the table of the new-look shadow cabinet revealed on Sunday.

The shake-up is the first major announcement for the state’s new Liberal-National Party leader David Crisafulli following the opposition’s resounding election defeat last month.

Newly appointed deputy David Janetzki will take charge of the shadow treasury and Ros Bates was given health.

Ms Frecklington retains a seat in the cabinet and will be responsible for water, construction of dams, regional development and manufacturing, while her former deputy Tim Mander slips from shadow treasurer to housing and public works as well as sport and racing.

Former party leader Tim Nicholls will be shadow Attorney-General and another former chief, John-Paul Langbroek, will be in charge of seniors, communities and disabled services as well as multiculturalism and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.

RELATED: Surprises in Palaszczuk’s cabinet reshuffle

Mr Crisafulli said his cabinet is heavily focused on the economy, which he insists will be the major election issue at the next state poll in four years.

“When I became the leader of the opposition, I said I would assemble a team of some of the best economic minds in the parliament,” he said on Sunday.

“It’s a strong mix of fresh faces and experience.

“The next election will be fought on the economy, which is why I have separated the economic arms to create both treasury and finance portfolios.”

Jarrod Bleijie will take charge of finance and retain his role as shadow minister for industrial relations.

Mr Crisafulli said this shared focus on the state’s purse will “chart a course towards good economic opportunities for Queensland families and also to hold the government to account for its expenditure”.

“A government integrity portfolio will also be introduced, charged with holding the current government to account,” he said.

On Tuesday, premier Annastacia Palaszczuk appointed the youngest Minister in the state’s history and moved her deputy out of the pivotal health role in her own cabinet shuffle.

In a move echoed by the opposition, the Queensland Government moved towards a greater focus on the economy and job creation as it charts a path out of the coronavirus-induced recession and high unemployment.

Steven Miles will now take on the role of state development Minister, with Ms Palaszczuk flagging she would need “all hands on deck” to support the state’s financial recovery.

Mr Miles told reporters he “got a bit teary” when he broke the news to the state’s chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young of his change of role after working side-by-side throughout the chaos of coronavirus.

“But her view is that we have the virus under control so she was supportive of me taking on a greater role in the economic response,” he said.

Former Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath will be sworn in as the new health Minister, while Gold Coast hinterland MP Meaghan Scanlon has been elevated to the ministry after her triumph in the state election.

Ms Scanlon broke the LNP’s stronghold over the electorate of Gaven in 2017 by a slim margin and her success was viewed as crucial for the incumbent government’s re-election bid.

Her resounding victory helped deliver a two-party preferred swing of 7.6 per cent and landed a gut punch to the LNP’s hopes of toppling the government.

“Almost 40 per cent of Queenslanders are under the age of 30 so it’s a great privilege to be the youngest cabinet minister in Queensland’s history,” Ms Scanlon said.

“I’ll make sure I continue to advocate for not only my generation but generations to come.”

She will be joined by new appointees Leanne Linard, Nudgee MP, and Townsville’s victor Scott Stewart.



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Russian Cabinet rejects bill outlining changes to the Family Code impacting children’s and transgender rights




Russia’s Government Commission on Legislative Activities has rejected conservative Senator Elena Mizulina’s draft law “aimed at strengthening the institution of the family.” The commission believes that the changes outlined in the bill would tip the balance “towards the rights of parents” at the expense of children’s rights. A draft of the cabinet’s decision was obtained by TASS on Tuesday, October 20.



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Scott Morrison says a national vaccination policy has been endorsed by National Cabinet. This is what he said


Australian’s national vaccination policy has been endorsed by the National Cabinet.

It outlines that there’ll be a national system to monitor immunisation levels and individual vaccination status.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australia needs to be ready for when vaccines have been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

And with forecasts that a vaccine could be available in Australia from early 2021, it’s likely going to happen sooner rather than later.

Here’s what we know so far about how a successful COVID-19 vaccine would be rolled out in Australia.

The University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine could be available early next year if it is proven safe.(Reuters: Amanda Perobelli)

Who gets the vaccine first?

A successful vaccine will first be handed out to three priority groups under the plan.

They include those at increased risk of exposure including health and aged care workers, those working in critical jobs and those at an increased risk of getting COVID-19.

What will the vaccine dose cost me?

COVID-19 vaccines will be available for free to all Australian citizens, permanent residents and most visa holders, according to the Australian COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.

However, under the plan, visa sub-classes 771 (Transit), 600 (Tourist stream), 651 (eVisitor) and 601 (Electronic Travel Authority) will be excluded.

How will Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine be rolled out?

Planning is underway while the vaccines are being developed but it’s difficult to set a plan in stone because each vaccine will have its own storage, handling and administration requirements.

At this stage, the Federal Government is set to work on regulation of vaccines, their acceptance from manufacturers, storage and transport, funding policy and data collection and monitoring.

The state and territory governments will look after how a successful vaccine will be delivered to people at vaccination sites.

A nurse wears full PPE at work
Healthcare workers would be among those to get the vaccine first.(Supplied: Wollongong Hospital)

Where will the vaccine come from?

We don’t know yet. While development is happening at a breakneck pace, a vaccine is yet to be approved by the TGA.

But according to the Australian COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, these are the four leading contenders:

  • The University of Oxford/AstraZeneca: it is one of the most progressed vaccines in development globally. Doses will be in Australia from early 2021, but available to Australians only once proven to be safe and effective and approved for use by the TGA. It will be manufactured by multinational biopharmaceutical company CSL in partnership with the developer, international pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

    A woman in a white lab coat and safety glasses uses a syringe to measure something
    One of the key vaccines likely to be approved first is being developed by the University of Queensland and CSL.(Supplied: University of Queensland)
  • The University of Queensland/CSL: This is the vaccine mentioned by Mr Hunt. If approved for use it is expected to be available in Australia in the second half of 2021. The vaccine doses purchased by the Australian Government will be manufactured in Australia at CSL’s biologics facility in Broadmeadows, Victoria.
  • Novavax: If approved, it will be available in Australia as early as the first half of 2021. It is expected that 40 million doses will be made available in Australia during 2021, which will supply enough doses to cover Australia’s adult population. Doses for Australia will be manufactured in several locations across Europe.
  • Pfizer and BioNTech: if approved for use, it will be available in Australia from early 2021. The vaccine doses purchased by the Australian Government will be made in the United States, Belgium and Germany.

A patient is injected with a vaccine during a clinical trial.
The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccination would be manufactured overseas and if approved, would be ready early next year.(AP)

Australia has also signed up to COVAX, which is a global vaccine agreement co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), epidemic response group CEPI and the Vaccine Alliance of Governments and Organisations. It has a broad portfolio of potential vaccines candidates and aims initially to have 2 billion doses of an effective vaccine available globally by the end of 2021. Australia’s $120 million commitment will allow purchase of sufficient vaccine doses to cover 50 per cent of the population.

How many doses of the vaccine will I need?

At this stage, it’s highly likely that two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine will be required for immunisation.

It also looks like each patient will need to have two doses of the same vaccine (for example, two doses of the Oxford vaccine or two doses of the UQ vaccine).

What if I don’t want to get vaccinated?

It won’t be a mandatory vaccination. But the Government will be encouraging everyone to get vaccinated and is giving assurances that there won’t be any shortcuts taken in the development of the new vaccine.

This is pretty complicated, how will all this be monitored?

The Australian Immunisation Register keeps track of Australia’s overall immunisation levels, as well as an individual’s immunisation status.

Under the rollout plan, the Federal Government’s digital health database My Health Record is also expected to play a key role in recording vaccinations.



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Annastacia Palaszczuk and Gladys Berejiklian to face off at National Cabinet


The bitter battle over the Queensland-New South Wales border will be dragged back into the spotlight on Friday as the state’s Premiers prepare to face off at National Cabinet.

The regular intergovernmental forum was created to handle the coronavirus crisis, but with community transmitted cases now rare in Australia, attention will likely turn to getting the country open again.

Gladys Berejiklian has been vocal in her criticism of her Queensland counterpart Annastacia Palaszczuk, who has locked greater Sydney and Victorian travellers out until at least the end of the month.

The NSW Premier is odds-on to force the issue at the meeting of the state leaders with a little help from her party colleague, the Prime Minister.

RELATED: Text between feuding premiers

The public feud over the border decision has raged for months but it became personal and spiteful last week after a strange text message conversation between the two was leaked.

News.com.au confirmed despite the Queensland Premier’s claim Ms Berejiklian “never called her” about borders, she did text the night after the Sunshine State’s election.

“Hi Annastacia Congratulations on your election win,” the text says.

“I can imagine how difficult that was during a pandemic! Hope we can work together to get our borders open. Gladys.”

But Ms Palaszczuk failed to reply for several days before sending a text about the State of Origin result.

Three days later, Ms Palaszczuk replied with the celebratory war cry “Queenslander” after her state’s victory in the rugby league game.

The NSW Premier has repeatedly complained her Queensland counterpart won’t discuss the increasingly controversial topic.

“I did not hear from her until last night when she sent me a text about State of Origin,” Ms Berejiklian said last week.

“I didn’t know whether to be shocked or bemused, frankly, because I’m worried about jobs and I’m worried about people not seeing their families.

“And she just rubbed in the fact that Queensland won the game; that’s fine.

“She didn’t mention borders, she didn’t mention a thanks for the congratulations.”

It has become tradition for the leaders of each state to make playful bets to celebrate the annual rugby league match up in the State of Origin but Ms Berejiklian said she wouldn’t even send a text in the lead up to Wednesday’s game.

“I think I‘ve made my case clear. And she’s made her position clear. And I don’t think that she’s going to budge,” she told the ABC.

“It‘s a lot at stake. I think that the goalposts that Queensland has set for opening the borders to NSW is unrealistic, and I just wish that they would act in a more compassionate and commonsense way.

“There was absolutely no health advice which says that NSW poses a danger to anybody.”

To make matters worse, reports Queensland could open to Victoria before NSW infuriated Ms Berejiklian.

Queensland‘s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young is reportedly considering allowing Victorians into the Sunshine State from December 1 despite its recent and horrific second wave.

“I‘m just mortified by that notion,” Ms Berejiklian told Today.

“I think it‘s cruel. I think it’s unjustified and I think it’s spiteful. And there’s no health or scientific basis to it.

“NSW has demonstrated that you can manage the pandemic by keeping the community safe but also by keeping people in jobs and keeping people mobile and relatively free in a COVID-safe way.”

Ms Palaszczuk has refused to budge over the state’s border policy despite increased commitment from other leaders to do so.

NSW will allow Victorian travellers in from November 23 but the Queensland Premier said she would continue to deal with the policy at the end of each month rather than weekly, despite new national cases becoming rare.

“Everyone is making a bigger deal of this than needs to be,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters last week.

“Let’s be practical and use commonsense here.

“Our border measures have kept Queenslanders safe.”



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David Crisafulli elected by party room to lead Queensland’s LNP as Labor’s new Cabinet officially sworn in


Gold Coast MP David Crisafulli has been elected unopposed to be the Liberal National Party’s new leader, with Toowoomba South MP David Janetzki to serve as his deputy.

The party room voted for the duo during a meeting at Parliament House today.

Former Opposition leader Deb Frecklington announced her intention to step aside following the party’s election loss on October 31.

Mr Crisafulli, a father of two, began his political career in north Queensland, well before he moved to the state’s south east.

He is a former journalist who grew up in Ingham and worked both there and in Townsville until he became the youngest person elected to Townsville City Council.

He moved into State Parliament as part of Campbell Newman’s landslide victory in 2012, then went on to serve as local government and community recovery minister.

Mr Crisafulli moved to the Gold Coast when he lost his seat in the LNP’s drubbing in 2015.

Ahead of the 2017 election, he trumped former MP Verity Barton for preselection in the seat of Broadwater, and won his second term in the seat in the October 31 poll, picking up a substantial first preference swing.

‘I’m hungry to win’: Crisafulli

Mr Crisafulli walked into the party room, flanked by former LNP leader Deb Frecklington.

He described himself as a “conviction politician” and said he wouldn’t knock government decisions just for opposition’s sake.

“So if I say that something is not right, all of you will know that I believe that in my heart — I won’t do it to get on the nightly news,” he said.

“There’s enough partisanship in politics … if something is good I will be the first one to say we support it and we will back that.

Queensland’s new LNP leader David Crisafulli is a father of two and former journalist who began his career in north Queensland.(AAP: Dan Peled)

“But by the same token, if something is wrong, I will be prepared to call it as such and will do it in a forceful manner.

“I am going to respect the mandate that the Premier sort to keep Queensland safe and strong and I will, in a respectful manner, ensure she is held accountable to that promise.”

Mr Crisafulli said the next four years were going to be a “tough ride” but he was determined to fight.

Mr Crisafulli said he was “humbled” to be elected leader, but was also “hurting” from the election loss.

“I’m hungry to win … because there are a generation of Queenslanders who know no different than Labor governments,” he said.

The Palaszczuk Government has drawn attention to the fact Mr Crisafulli served in the Newman government’s ministry but the newly-elected leader said he would not be fixated on the past.

“If they want to look in the rear vision mirror, good luck to them,” he said.

“My style will be one about holding them to account for their policies today, supporting the ones that Queensland need, and putting forward an alternate vision.”

He said there would be announcements about his shadow cabinet in coming days.

“I don’t owe it to factions, or any backroom support — they will be the best person for the job,” he said.

“There’ll be new faces and there’ll be a great mixture.

David Janetzki
David Janetzki is the LNP’s newly appointed deputy leader.(Facebook: David Janetzki – LNP Candidate for Toowoomba South)

David Janetzki said “Queensland had spoken” and the party would come back “bigger, stronger, faster”.

“We’re going to go back, we will review everything we took to the elections,” Mr Janetzki said.

“We’ve got the heart and we’ve got the people in the room to give this an almighty shake.

“Queensland is looking for economic leadership and we’ll be providing that from Opposition.”

Mr Janetzki fended off a challenge from three other MPs Christian Rowan, Steve Minnikin and Dale Last — for the role of deputy leader

Recounts ordered

The Electoral Commission Queensland (ECQ) agreed this morning to an LNP request to recount votes in two tight-race electorates: Nicklin on the Sunshine Coast and Bundaberg in southern Queensland.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said while he had full confidence in the integrity of the count, the margins were very close and it was prudent to ensure the veracity of the outcome.

“In Bundaberg there is a difference of 11 votes and in Nicklin 79,” he said.

“Very, very tight.

“A federal automatic recount is triggered by less than 100 votes.

“I don’t have any concerns in what we’ve done but I think [it is important] for confidence and certainly for the candidates.”

Recounting of the tens of thousands of votes will begin today — with observers and scrutineers present — as is the usual practice.

Cabinet sworn in

Meanwhile, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and her Cabinet have been officially sworn in at a ceremony at Government House.

Ms Palaszczuk unveiled her full ministry yesterday with Shannon Fentiman appointed Attorney-General and the state’s youngest minister Meaghan Scanlan taking on environment and science.

A man takes a selfie with a group of people standing in front of a white building.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles takes a selfie at the official swearing in of the Queensland Government’s new Cabinet at Government House.(ABC News: Tim Swanston)

Several new assistant ministers were also sworn in, including, Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders, Aspley MP Bart Mellish, Bundamba MP Lance McCallum and Jordan MP Charis Mullen.

Cairns MP Michael Healy will also be an assistant minister but has not been sworn in as his seat is yet to be officially declared.

It takes the total number of assistant ministers to eight, up from five last term.

Ms Palaszczuk said she was proud of her cabinet.

“We’ve got a big job ahead of us.”

First-time frontbencher and Nudgee MP Leanne Linard said she was eager to start work within her portfolios of youth justice, children and multicultural affairs.

“To represent some of Queensland’s most vulnerable, I feel there is no greater word than it’s an absolute honour,” she said.

New assistant minister Lance McCallum will be working on hydrogen development, while Bruce Saunders will look at train manufacturing.

Member for Gladstone Glen Butcher, who has retained his position as minister for regional development and manufacturing, will be sworn in at a later time.



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Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announces Cabinet line-up for her historic third term


Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has unveiled the make-up of her third-term Cabinet, handing the reins of the environment portfolio to the youngest frontbencher in the state’s history.

Meaghan Scanlon is one of three new faces to join the Cabinet ranks after Labor’s October 31 election win.

At the age of 27, Ms Scanlon will become Minister for Environment, the Great Barrier Reef, Science and Youth Affairs.

The Ministry shake-up has also seen Shannon Fentiman appointed to the role of Attorney-General. She will also look after the portfolios of justice, women, and the prevention of domestic and family violence.

Meaghan Scanlon, 27, has become the youngest frontbencher in Queensland’s history.(AAP: Dave Hunt)

Former child safety minister Di Farmer will take on employment, small business, training and skills development, while Leeanne Enoch will become Minister for Communities, Housing, Digital Economy and Minister for the Arts.

Stirling Hinchliffe, who was previously minister for local government, racing and multicultural affairs, has picked up tourism industry development, innovation and sport.

Mick De Brenni will take on energy, renewables, public works and procurement, and a new role as Minister for Hydrogen.

While first-time frontbencher Nudgee MP Leanne Linard will be responsible for children, youth justice and multicultural affairs.

Townsville MP Scott Stewart — the third new Cabinet member — will take on the resources portfolio, which was previously held by former MP Anthony Lynham.

 Meaghan Scanlon, Scott Stewart, Leanne Linard and Yvette D'Ath at Speaker's Green at Parliament House.
Queensland MPs Meaghan Scanlon, Scott Stewart, Leanne Linard and Yvette D’Ath at Parliament House on Tuesday.(ABC News: Stephanie Zillman)

A number of ministers have kept their portfolios, with Grace Grace continuing in education, Mark Bailey in transport and main roads, Mark Furner in agriculture and fisheries, and Mark Ryan remaining police minister.

Craig Crawford will continue as minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, while also becoming responsible for seniors and disability services.

The full details of the Ministry were announced today after Ms Palaszczuk made a visit to Government House to inform Governor Paul de Jersey she was able to form government.

The Queensland Governor signs a document while the Queensland premier looks on.
Ms Palaszczuk visited Governor Paul de Jersey at Government House.(Twitter: @QldGovernor)

In a statement, Ms Palaszczuk said her Cabinet’s plan was to “get on with the job”.

“Queenslanders expect us to get on with implementing our Economic Recovery Plan,” she said.

“They expect the roads, schools and hospitals we need and the jobs that go with building them.

“It is our job to get on with the job and that’s exactly what we will do.”

On Tuesday, former attorney-general Yvette D’Ath was revealed to be the new Health Minister, with Deputy Premier Steven Miles taking on state development, local government, infrastructure and planning.

Yvette D'Ath speaking to the media at Speaker's Green at Parliament House in Brisbane.
Former attorney-general Yvette D’Ath is the new Health Minister.(ABC News: Stephanie Zillman)

Treasurer Cameron Dick added investment to his responsibilities, while Ms Palaszczuk has added trade to hers.

The new look Ministry is expected to be sworn in tomorrow.

Vote count continues

Votes are still being counted but Labor is on track to win at least 50 seats in the 93-seat Queensland Parliament.

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ABC election analyst Antony Green wrote on Twitter this afternoon that Labor had now won Nicklin by 79 votes and Bundaberg by 11.

LNP candidate Laura Gerber this afternoon said she had been advised she had retained the other knife-edge seat, Currumbin, beating Labor’s Kaylee Campradt.

A full preference count started this morning.

Ms Gerber said she had just managed to hang on in the Gold Coast electorate.

“It’s about 310, the ECQ are just going to receive confirmation of that from the returning officer,” Ms Gerber said.

“So 310 votes — very, very marginal — very close.”

As of Wednesday, 87.6 per cent of about 3 million votes had been counted.

Around 900,000 votes were cast by post, according to the Electoral Commission Queensland (ECQ).

Voters had until November 10 to return their postal ballots — any received after that date would not be counted, the ECQ said.

Photos and names of Queensland Cabinet announced on November 11, 2020.
The Queensland Cabinet line-up.(ABC News: Lewi Hirvela)



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