Yvette D’Ath calls time on political career

Published 9:00am 22 February 2024

Yvette D’Ath calls time on political career
Words by Kylie Knight

State Member for Redcliffe and Queensland Attorney-General Yvette DÁth will not contest the next State Election.

Ms D’Ath made the announcement, on her own terms, via her Facebook page this morning.

Here's what she said: 

"This decision has not been made lightly and comes with some sorrow but also excitement about what journey I may embark on next.

Firstly, I want to thank the former Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk for her friendship, leadership, and her support over the past 10 years. 

I also want to acknowledge and thank Premier Steven Miles for his support over many years, including during my time as Health Minister. I thank the Premier for his ongoing support for me to continue to serve in my current ministerial role through to the end of the term. 

There is still much work to do in my portfolio and I look forward to continuing my engagement with the various sectors, including the Domestic and Family Violence and sexual violence sectors, to implement the reforms needed to deliver real change for the people of Queensland. We have an ambitious agenda before October, and I intend on delivering on that for the people of Queensland, as I have always done.

The past 16 years have been the most extraordinary experience of my working career. To serve as an elected member at any level of government is a privilege. But to be one of the few citizens of this country to have served in both Federal and Queensland parliaments, and to have done so as someone who left school at 15, is an honour. 

My decision to not recontest is based on many considerations, but not least that it is time to try to find more balance in my life, to allow myself to look after me, after what will almost be 17 years of serving the people of Queensland. I have spent the past few years in my various roles, speaking to many people across the legal and health professions about well-being and the importance of looking after oneself, so that you may look after others. That is what I am finally going to allow myself to do post October 2024. 

I am also excited to embark on new opportunities and find ways to continue to grow professionally and to use the knowledge and skills I have gained over so many years, in so many diverse roles, to chart a new direction for myself.Whilst I know I still have the passion and drive to continue to serve the people of Queensland, I believe it is better to leave politics when people are still asking me to stay, rather than telling me to go. I have faith and confidence in my Labor colleagues, and those who are yet to come into the Queensland parliamentary Labor party, that the time is right for me to make way for others to help shape the future of Queensland. 

I have reached the conclusion that the time is right. By October 2024, I would have served for almost 17 years, having entered Federal Parliament in November 2007. I have put my heart and soul into serving the people of Petrie and then the people of Redcliffe as their local member. I have given it my all in my ministerial role and will continue to do so to ensure the Miles Labor Government is in the best position to seek re-election, to continue the important work of delivering for the people of Queensland. 

The Labor Party is the only party that can steer this state through challenging times. We have done it in the past and we will continue to in the future.

I have many people to thank, which will come later, but at this time, I want to give particular thanks to my family.

My son Cameron and daughter Emma, who were only 4 and 6 when I won federal pre-selection and are now 21 and 23. I look forward to enjoying the opportunity to watch them make their own way in this world. I thank the Labor Party for its commitment to the people of Queensland and its endorsement of myself over the years. And I thank the people of Redcliffe. It’s an extraordinary community made up of passionate, hardworking and generous people. It has been, and still is, an incredible honour to serve my community and represent them in the QLD Legislative Assembly, and I will continue to work hard for them every day, right up until the election. 

I want to acknowledge and thank all of my parliamentary colleagues that I have had the pleasure to serve with and those that I continue to serve with. I thank the amazing, dedicated branch members and volunteers of the Redcliffe Branch for their many years of support. I look forward to what will inevitably be an extremely busy eight months and I look forward to doing everything I can to support the election of the Miles Government at the next election."

Today's announcement marks the end of an almost 17-year political career which started when she was elected the Federal Member for Petrie, serving in the Australian Parliament from 2007 until 2013.

She was elected as the State Member for Redcliffe during a by-election in 2014 and has subsequently held the position following general elections in 2015, 2017 and 2020.

Yvette D’Ath calls time on political career
Yvette DÁth at the opening of the upgraded Redcliffe Hospital ICU.

Driven to succeed

The former Redcliffe State High School student started full-time work at the age of 15 years, holding clerical and hospitality positions.

Realising the value of education, Ms D’Ath put herself through night school, while working and raising a family.

She graduated from the Queensland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Laws degree, attained a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from the Australian National University in Canberra and was admitted as a lawyer in 2006.

She worked for the Australian Workers’ Union before entering politics.

After her election as the State Member for Redcliffe in 2014, she served as shadow Minister for Education and Training; Disability Services; Science, IT and Innovation and later become Shadow Attorney-General.

Following Labor’s State Election win in 2015, Ms D’Ath was appointed Queensland’s Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Training and Skills.

After her 2017 State Election win, she was asked by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to continue as Queensland’s Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and also take on the role as Leader of the House, managing the legislative program of the Government.

She was Queensland’s longest-serving continuous Attorney-General since WWII.

Her appointment as Health and Ambulance Services Minister happened after the 2020 State Election. She returned to the role of Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence in May 2023. She has served as Leader of the House since December 2017.

Ms D’Ath was a key player in securing the rail line to Redcliffe, advocating for the project as both Federal and State Member. It opened in 2016.

Ms D’Ath is a proud Redcliffe Peninsula local, having raised her two children in the area and being involved with local sporting clubs and schools as they grew.

She is also a passionate Redcliffe Dolphins and Dolphins NRL club fan, regularly seen cheering at home games.


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