Bill Ludwig backs Keppel MP for ministerial position
LIVINGSTONE Shire Mayor Ludwig has thrown in his bid for Keppel MP Brittany Lauga to become the new Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries.
Mrs Lauga was humbled by Cr Ludwig's endorsement and said she would be "honoured” to fill the Queensland Parliamentary portfolio should the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk choose.
The position opened Thursday night following Bundaberg MP Leanne Donaldson's resignation after it was revealed she owed $8000 in three years of overdue property rates and had driven her vehicle unregistered.
Rockhampton MP, Police and Corrections Minister Bill Byrne was appointed as acting Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, but Cr Ludwig said Mrs Lauga was well-positioned professionally and geographically to fill the role.
He believed she would be the "prudent and timely choice” for Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and would offer a strong voice for regional Queensland and the state.
"She certainly has a great work ethic and would be positioned not only to champion our area but for all of regional Queensland,” Cr Ludwig said.
"Nobody works closer with their state and federal representatives more than mayors and we have had a very productive working relationship both with Brittany at the state and Michelle (Landry) at the federal level.”
Cr Ludwig launched a public campaign to back Minister for Resources and North Australia Senator Matt Canavan's elevation to federal cabinet and said his endorsement for Brittany was another case of "credit where credit's due”.
Mrs Lauga said Parliament awaited Ms Palaszczuk's decision, but she believed it would "make sense” to have a Agriculture and Fisheries Minister based in the beef capital.
"It's lovely of Bill to do that... it's lovely to know I have the confidence of my local mayor,” Mrs Lauga said of Bill's backing.
"I guess first and foremost my number one priority is representing the people of Keppel, I would be honoured to serve in any capacity that the Premier asks me to.”
"We don't know yet what the Premier is going to do, she could fill that portfolio in its own right or she could elect to reshuffle the existing cabinet, there's a number of different options that she could take and they're all her choices, so I guess we'll have to wait and see what she chooses to do.
"But agriculture and fisheries is a portfolio that I would be happy and very honoured to serve in if the Premier did ask me to and particularly given my family's background coming from the land and also my love for fishing.”
Ms Palaszczuk yesterday said her government was making a historic commitment to primary industries across financial assistance for producers, restoring biosecurity preparedness, supporting the sheep and wool industry, new management arrangements for sustainable fishing and advancing agriculture and fisheries through research and development.