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It was a day of many firsts as Queensland’s 89 MPs were sworn into state parliament.


The morning started with the first indigenous minister and first female indigenous MP, Leeanne Enoch, being blessed by elders on the Speaker’s Green.

Ms Enoch then joined the government’s 43 MPs to file into the Legislative Assembly chamber.

The change inside was stark: Labor on the government side, bright-eyed and smiling; the Liberal National Party on the opposition benches, the old hands humbled as the new reality sunk in.

Many faces were unfamiliar while some – Kate Jones, Cameron Dick and Stirling Hinchliffe – triggered memories of parliaments past.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, the first woman to form government from opposition, was first to take the oath.

The new premier then swore in her deputy, Jackie Trad, and Treasurer Curtis Pitt before the other 86 members were sworn in three at a time.

Among them was Rob Pyne, the first quadriplegic member of parliament in Australian history.

There was a feeling of friendship in the air – handshakes across the floor, jolly banter and bouts of laughter.

Former deputy premier Jeff Seeney seemed the only one to cut a sombre figure, if only for a brief moment.

One of the last men to be sworn in, Peter Wellington, was also nominated as the Speaker of Parliament – the first independent MP to take the role in more than a century.

It was easy to tell he was keen on the job when he almost broke with tradition by forgetting to feign reluctance to accept the post.

Instead, the beaming Mr Wellington escorted his nominator Ms Palaszczuk and seconder Ms Trad back to their own seats so he could get into his new one.

He pledged to fairly serve all Queenslanders in his new role.

“I owe no favours to vested interests, lobby groups or parties, and in this context I acknowledge the significance of my election to this office as only the second independent Speaker in Queensland’s history,” Mr Wellington told the House.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk congratulated Mr Wellington and wished him all the very best in his dealings with both the government and the opposition.

“I know that you will deliberate on a fair basis at every opportunity,” she said.

Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg also wished Mr Wellington well.

“I congratulate you, we look forward to a rather unusual opportunity which can now operate in this parliament,” he said.

Tuesday started three days of pomp and ceremony, continuing with the opening of the 55th Parliament of Queensland on Wednesday.

But every politician is waiting patiently for Friday, the first question time, when they can really let rip for the first time.


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