‘Very welcome’: Coast MP’s incredible new gig

 

LABOR'S sole Gold Coast MP is to be promoted to the ministry in a wide-ranging Cabinet reshuffle being unveiled on Thursday.

Meaghan Scanlon is expected to be promoted from Assistant Tourism Minister to Cabinet after her strong first-term and re-election on Saturday.

Government sources said the Gaven MP will become the "Minister for the Gold Coast", with a special focus on tourism and helping the city recover from the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.

Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

"Tourism is going to need good representation and it's going to need special care as the recovery gets going," the insider said. "It needs a strong voice in Cabinet after Kate Jones and they will have their work cut out for them."

Ms Scanlon said she could not comment when contacted on Wednesday night.

The promotion would be the latest step in a meteoric rise for the 27-year-old, who was first elected in 2017 after snapping up the marginal Gold Coast Hinterland seat from the LNP.

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It would get the second region-specific ministerial post created, after Coralee O'Rourke served as North Queensland Minister for five years and the first time the Gold Coast has been home to a Cabinet Minister since the defeat of the Newman Government in 2015.

Destination Gold Coast chairman Paul Donovan said he was unaware of a 'Minister for Gold Coast' post but said: "That would be welcome, we need all the help we can get".

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has spent the week conferring with colleagues about reshaping her frontbench after her electoral victory. The retirements of Ms Jones, Ms O'Rourke and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham open up three frontbench spots.

Ms Scanlon is set to be promoted to the Ministry. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Ms Scanlon is set to be promoted to the Ministry. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

Deputy Premier Steven Miles and Treasurer Cameron Dick have already been confirmed as remaining in their existing portfolios. Other MPs in line for frontbench positions include Cairns MP Michael Healey, Brisbane-based Nudgee MP Leanne Linard and either Scott Stewart and Aaron Harper, both from Townsville.

Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders is also expected to be named an assistant Minister.

The new-look Cabinet comes as the LNP prepares to vote for its new leader.

Gold Coast-based Broadwater MP David Crisafulli is the sole declared candidate and is understood to have spent the past few days on the phone with colleagues discussing his plans and lobbying them for his support.

Originally published as 'Very welcome': Coast MP's incredible new gig


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