GOLDEN GIRLS: New Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services Jo-Ann Miller with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at Government House.
GOLDEN GIRLS: New Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services Jo-Ann Miller with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at Government House. Contributed

Miller's first challenge is to improve police morale: Union

IAN Leavers has welcomed Jo-Ann Miller's elevation to the Police Minister's portfolio but he has also set the Bundamba MP the task of helping him build up morale in the force from what he says is its "lowest ebb ever".

The Queensland Police Union president said Ms Miller had plenty to offer in the role, but also set her an early challenge.

Mr Leavers has been vocal about the deterioration of police morale in the pages of the QT and he said it was vital that dire trend was reversed.

"As a longstanding member of parliament with considerable experience, Jo-Ann will bring a lot to her new role," Mr Leavers said.

"Both the new minister and I have a lot in common with both of us having extensive experience working in and around Ipswich.

"After all the upheavals, changes and cutbacks that police have experienced in recent years that has reduced morale in the Queensland Police Service to the lowest ebb ever, I look forward to a productive relationship with the new minister.

"I will welcome her positive influence on the portfolio that is desperate for someone to finally make decisions that will support the police and help improve morale."

Ms Miller was sworn is as the new Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services at Government House yesterday.

The Labor stalwart, who recently celebrated her seventh election win in her seat, has previously been parliamentary secretary both to the Minister for Education and Minister for Health in former Labor governments.

Ms Miller had a briefing with Police Commissioner Ian Stewart and senior officers from the fire department yesterday and won't be resting on her laurels in her dual portfolios.

"I have spoken to them about having a good working partnership with all the officers," she said.

"I've had very fruitful discussions and I will be having more detailed meetings within the coming days.

"I am delighted to be the minister in those two portfolio areas. I am certainly working with professional officers and I am very happy with that."

Blair MP Shayne Neumann said Ms Miller would be "an outstanding minister" in the new Labor Government.

"Jo-Ann has shown her mettle in the last three years," he said.

"She has been outstanding as a shadow minister and I am sure she will take that commitment, drive and determination into government."

Ms Miller was one of just seven survivors after the 2012 election defeat at the hands of the LNP.

Her tenacity and fighting spirit in opposition was a key factor in returning Labor to power.

Ipswich now has three of the safest Labor seats that are in the state.

Ms Miller took her seat from a marginal 1.8% to a safe 21.4%.

New Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard has a margin of 15.9%, while Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk extended her advantage in Inala from 6.9% to 25.4%.

Labor enjoyed a 14.9% swing in Ipswich West, so new MP Jim Madden now enjoys a margin of 7.7%.

"It says a lot about the quality of the candidates that were put up, a lot about the quality of their campaigns and also a lot about the judgement of the people of Ipswich who won't be taken for granted," Mr Neumann said.

"They gave Campbell Newman a go but he failed them, as did the local LNP members."


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