Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has shocked government colleagues, friends and relatives by declaring she would like to be buried beside legendary political warhorse Johannes Bjelke-Petersen.
Sir Johannes (pictured below, far right), the man who ran Queensland with an iron fist for 19 years until 1987, died in 2005 and is interred on his beloved property Bethany near Kingaroy in the South Burnett. Alongside him is his wife Lady Florence, a former Queensland Senator who died in 2017.
“Goodness gracious me, no,” was Ms Palaszczuk’s first response when asked if she was keen to usurp Lady Flo’s position in the family burial plot.
“No. It’s just that I admired Joh a lot for what he did to Queensland. We used to have slightly different views, that’s for sure, but he did provide good strong stable and the rest. Don’t you worry about that.
“For sure, people have a right to protest but cars have rights too. Like a flock of, like a focking flock of pigeons, if you stand on both sides of a barbed wire fence, just see how far that gets you. That’s all I’m doing, that’s the way, for the good people of Queensland.
“Good strong stable. That’s what Queenslanders expect of me and as sure as an ill-wind blows some good somewhere that’s what I will provide, regardless of what the unions and the rest of them, well, we know what they want. Those people. That’s for sure.
“And goodness gracious me, we should never forget that coal is king, even though it is black and you’d never want it living next door to you.”
Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad backed her leader’s wishes to the hilt.
“I think it’s a lovely idea and we’re ready when she is,” Ms Trad said.
And in breaking news, a spokesperson for the Bjelke-Petersen family said overnight it had no objections to Premier Palaszczuk’s stated wish to spend eternity “beside someone who is clearly her mentor”.
“The family simply hopes that the Premier doesn’t mind her coffin being just above Peter Beattie’s,” the spokesperson said.
“The family is simply delighted to know that Bethany one day will be regarded as Australia’s premier tourist destination.”