On Monday afternoon, Queensland’s health minister, Shannon Fentiman announced her plans to become the state’s next premier.
It came a day after Annastacia Palaszczuk resigned from her role as the country’s longest-serving female premier.
This morning, however, Fentiman backed out of her candidacy, conceding to deputy premier Steven Miles.
Miles is understood to have secured the backing of the Labor right faction, which included the retiring premier herself and the treasurer, Cameron Dick.
On Facebook, Fentiman said she was pulling out of the race for the leadership because it was “clear that a majority” of MPs would back Miles.
“I want to congratulate Steven and offer my support in the work ahead,” she said. “Steven is a longstanding friend, and he will have my full support as Premier of Queensland.
“Now is the time for unity, and Labor’s focus must turn to delivering for Queenslanders and retaining government at next year’s election.”
On Monday, when she announced her candidacy at a press conference, she said she had was keen on “renewal and change” and that she had “significant support”.
“In order to win the next election, we need a fresh approach,” she told reporters.
“Steven, as deputy with Annastacia, has a really strong legacy. But I believe we need renewal and we need to change the way we do some things.”
“Look, it’s no surprise that the premier would nominate her deputy premier – they’ve worked closely together – of course she would. But … the question for MPs this week is who can take us forward and who can win the next election.”
“Of course we will respect whatever happens with the different views of MPs. But as I’ve said, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have significant support.”
On X, formerly Twitter, Fentimen described Palaszczuk as “an inspiration to women and girls across the nation.”
“I’m so proud of the things we accomplished together. But there is so much more to do and now is the time for renewal.”
“I have a strong track record of bringing people together, listening and delivering. I believe I am the best person to deliver the change we need.”
Fentiman has held several roles in the state government since 2015, including Minister for Communities, Women and children, Employment and Small businesses and Minister for Women.
The Member for Waterford made her inaugural speech in March 2015, crediting her grandfather for sparking her initial interest in politics.
“Whenever parliament was sitting he would tune in to the ABC’s broadcast of question time,” she said.
“With me sitting by his side, fixated by the television screen for that one hour, he taught me the importance of civic participation. Though he lacked the voice and opportunity to speak in this forum, he held parliament in that living room.”
She also explained her agenda to improve representation among women and end gendered violence, adding that she was “proud” to call herself a feminist.
“I am determined to increase women’s leadership roles, not just in the government sector but in industry and across all levels in our community, and still one in three women will experience violence or sexual violence in their lifetime.”
“Too many women and children are hurt and killed each year as a result of domestic and family violence, and we know these deaths are preventable and we can stop the behaviour and attitudes that feed the domestic violence cycle. We are all responsible for ending domestic violence. This begins not only here in parliament but also in our living rooms, our pubs, our clubs, our parks, our streets and our schools.”
Fentimen was a lawyer before she entered politics, working with community organisations including Beenleigh Neighbourhood Centre, the Logan Women’s Health and Wellbeing Centre and the Centre Against Sexual Violence.
Queensland’s next state election is scheduled for October 2024.