This was not a position that I ever aspired to. I had been asked on many occasions by senior people in the Liberal National Party whether I would make the move to State Politics and had always said No.
However in the period after the 2011 Queensland floods and Cyclone Yasi it was clear to me that Premier Anna Bligh, whose personal approval rating had skyrocketed, was about to call an early election.
It was clear to me that the LNP were likely to lose giving the ALP another three years in office.
While I had generally enjoyed a very productive working relationship with the former ALP Government led by Premier Peter Beattie the same could not be said with the Bligh Government. Bad policy decisions, interference in local government administration, poor and reckless financial management plus outright political bastardry by her government changed my mind.
I therefore put my hand up to serve and for 12 months campaigned from outside the Queensland Parliament as the Opposition Leader.
This led to one of the biggest electoral victories in Australian political history with 78 seats out of 89 in the Parliament being won by the LNP.
However, after three years of tumultuous reform I lost my seat and the government narrowly lost the election.
Balanced the $ 48 billion state budget by cutting wasteful expenditure and downsizing the workforce – achieved an Australian first since WW2 – a government that spent less in one FY than it did the previous year
Eliminated the $ 150 million maintenance backlog in Queensland public schools
Recruited, trained and deployed an extra 1,100 police in a three year period
Reformed the Building construction industry watchdog the Building Services Authority
Host State for a highly successful G20 conference
Committed Queensland to the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
Cut payroll tax
Reforms to the Public Hospitals system that saw them deliver the best emergency department performance and surgery waiting times in the nation
Took on the Criminal Motorcycle Gangs and won
Developed the Queensland Plan – a comprehensive blueprint for the next 30 years of the State’s growth
Reforms to Workers Compensation laws that saw an average 15 % reduction to business workcover premiums
Commissioned former Governor General Quentin Bryce to undertake a comprehensive review into Domestic & Family Violence in Queensland
Developed and commenced implementation of a 10 year, $ 10 billion Action Plan to upgrade the Bruce Highway from Brisbane to Cairns
Cut public transport fare increases
Introduced Independent Public Schools to Queensland providing for school autonomy and local decision making
Oversaw significant drop in reported crime of 15 to 20%
Developed industry sector plans for each of the State’s economic pillars ( Mining/Resources, Agriculture, Tourism and Construction)
Introduced land tenure reforms to enable aboriginal people to acquire freehold title and own their own homes
Delivered apology to victims of forced adoptions
Developed the Business Plan and achieved Federal Govt support for the Toowoomba second range crossing. Tender process initiated
Cut property stamp duty