RETIRED: High-profile politician Jeff Seeney, a one time deputy premier, has called it a day after a 20-year parliamentary career.
RETIRED: High-profile politician Jeff Seeney, a one time deputy premier, has called it a day after a 20-year parliamentary career. Mara Pattison-Sowden

Takeover of crucial Gladstone town brings shock announcment

LNP stalwart and former Newman government Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney is retiring from State Parliament.

The Callide MP was first elected to the House in 1998.

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Mr Seeney told the House in an emotional speech that the recent electorate boundaries redistribution had made his seat "bigger and better" and it was time for someone younger to take on the challenge.

"Being away from home, driving 100,000km a year and working every weekend has been an accepted part of life for me and my long-suffering wife Therese.

"The expansion of the Callide electorate presents an appropriate time I believe for me to consider a change of role and to allow one of the many capable young LNP people living in the electorate to come forward and to take over my current role in this House.

"I will instead be seeking to live a more normal life and pursue some opportunities that are available to me in the corporate world that may allow me to continue to make a contribution to the state of Queensland.

"Hopefully, pursuing a more normal life will also allow me to aspire to be the best grandad in the world for Olivia, who is two years old, Theo, who is two months old and Ivy who is two weeks old.

"It will certainly allow me to give them more time and attention in the next 20 years than I have been able to give my own kids - Dan, Helen and Tom - in the last 20 years I have been the member for Callide.

RETIRED: Former Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney has called it a day on his political career. The announcement has big implications for many in the Gladstone region, with the LNP heavyweight poised to take over the crucial town of Calliope.
RETIRED: Former Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney has called it a day on his political career. The announcement has big implications for many in the Gladstone region, with the LNP heavyweight poised to take over the crucial town of Calliope. Tanya Easterby

Mr Seeney also paid tribute to Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls, who he said "had long since disproved the rule that you can't have friends in politics".

"I have been lucky enough to experience the highs and the lows of this place with the greatest mate that I have ever known by my side."

Mr Nicholls issued a statement describing Mr Seeney as a "great warrior, a gentle giant and a passionate advocate for regional and rural Queensland".

"Since I entered the Parliament Jeff Seeney has been both a mentor and my great friend," he said.

He will officially retire at the election.

Mr Seeney was a controversial figure throughout the Newman government's three tumultuous years in office.

After the LNP's loss he cut a forlorn figure in State Parliament and was frequently lampooned by Labor ministers.

Elected in 1998, Mr Seeney has in the past served on the Monto Shire Council as deputy mayor.

Last year Mr Seeney considered a political career change to Canberra following 18 years in the state arena.



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