Queensland’s opposition leader says former premier Peter Beattie is offering her support, even though he backs someone else to lead.
Queensland’s Labor leader insists she has the support of former premier Peter Beattie, even though he backs someone else to lead the state.
Political analysts have questioned the stability of Annastacia Palaszczuk’s leadership, even though Labor has won two by-elections and recorded huge swings towards the party.
A month after Ms Palaszczuk won February’s Redcliffe with a 17 per cent swing, Mr Beattie endorsed former attorney-general Cameron Dick as a future Labor premier, despite him losing his seat in 2012.
He favourably compared the barrister to Wayne Goss, who in 1989 became Queensland’s first Labor premier in 32 years following the Fitzgerald inquiry into police and political corruption.
“Goss gave Queensland back its dignity. This is what talented leaders with integrity can do,” Mr Beattie wrote in a Weekend Australian column in March.
“Cameron Dick is a man in the Goss tradition.”
However, Ms Palaszczuk said Mr Beattie, a four-time election winner, supported her leadership.
“He’s offered his support in the past,” she told reporters on Wednesday.
“I’ve sat down with Peter Beattie and discussed issues, so there’s no issue.”
It is understood Mr Beattie sent an email before Saturday’s Stafford by-election wishing her success.
He also sent her a congratulatory email afterwards, when Labor won the northern Brisbane seat with an 18.6 per cent swing.
Labor’s success in opinion polls has not stopped commentators or the Liberal National government predicting that Mr Dick will overthrow Ms Palaszczuk as leader.
Griffith University political scientist Paul Williams said this week that Mr Dick would be better at winning over swinging voters but would be unlikely to lead the party from outside parliament before the election.
Mr Dick has been preselected to run in the safe Labor seat of Woodridge.