Queensland Premier aims for a move to Australian federal politics

Monday, December 26, 2005 Australia's most experienced state leader - Peter Beattie has given his strongest indication for a move to federal politics.

Beattie, who has been the Premier of Queensland for seven-and-a-half years indicated that he only wishes to stay on for another term in state parliament and that he would never say no to federal politics. He further added "I'd love to see the Labor Party govern federally and you never rule out federal aspirations".

"But frankly, from my point of view, it's more important to deliver on all the things I promised we would deliver on" said Beattie. Beattie will be working over the holiday period to repair the crises that have engulfed his government this year. His government is yet to recover from a slump in two-party preferred polls following the Doctor Death scandal, which exposed major problems in Queensland's health system.

Mr Beattie said he would lead his party to victory in 2007 and serve out another term as premier, but indicated he would consider his "exit strategy" ahead of the 2010 state election. "I'm not someone who wants to stay forever" said Mr Beattie.

Mr Beattie has been grooming his successor, Deputy Premier Anna Bligh and plans to make her Treasurer if Labor wins the next election.

Mr Beattie said his agenda for next year in Queensland included implementing health reforms, furthering his Smart State strategy and kick-starting a multi-billion-dollar plan for infrastructure projects.