What rejig means for factional balance of power

 

LABOR'S Left faction has retained its power in the State Cabinet reshuffle but slipped in its influence with the loss of the crucial Treasury portfolio, according to political insiders.

While Labor's Left rose to prominence after it spearheaded a campaign ousting Liberal National Party leader Campbell Newman from office in 2015, the loss of the Treasury portfolio with the resignation of Jackie Trad has been painted by some political pundits as a blow to its might.

The reshuffle saw the portfolio handed to Labor's Right faction leader Cameron Dick, who sits in the same faction as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

It means critical decisions about the economy previously made by Ms Trad will now be made by the Right faction head, reducing the Left's influence over a critical area of Government.

However the Left, which has a near-majority in Caucus and the support of the Old Guard, will remain dominant, with the appointment of Health Minister Steven Miles as deputy premier and a new ministerial spot being created for Left faction member and Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher.

Its numbers grew as recently as last week with the defection of Right faction Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden and election of Lance McCallum in Bundamba giving it 23 votes within Labor's 48-member caucus.

Mr Madden said the switch was about doing "everything I can for my electorate of Ipswich West to secure extra funding from state and federal government".

The selection of Mr Miles as deputy premier yesterday means the Left will retain its spot in the Cabinet Budget Review Committee as well as in Cabinet, thanks to Mr Butcher scoring a ministerial position.

 

Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden
Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden

 

Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher

 

While the union bosses have control over ministerial appointments, the Premier exercises control over their portfolios, with the exception of the deputy premier position.

Mr Butcher switched factions from the Right after his 2015 election.

The move paid off, with the former manufacturing worker being elevated to an assistant minister position to Jackie Trad through multiple different portfolios.

Ms Trad's resignation in the midst of an investigation by corruption officials is what ultimately paved the way to his elevation to Minister yesterday ahead of other more experienced Left members.

Mr Butcher yesterday described Ms Trad as a mentor, saying he was saddened by her resignation.

"She has been amazing for me," Mr Butcher told The Courier-Mail.

"She's certainly supported me with my political career and I do feel sad for her that she had to go like this but she is a strong woman and I know she will be working her butt off in her local electorate in the lead up to the next election.

"So it's time for her now to focus on her seat and winning the next election because as I said she is a great woman and great supporter of mine."

 

 

 

Originally published as What rejig means for factional balance of power


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