Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk charges taxpayers $64,238 for Cabinet’s annual Christmas party
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has charged taxpayers more than $64,000 for an exclusive 90-minute Christmas party with a who’s who of Australia on the guest list.
The Prime Minister’s Office Christmas reception took place on December 18 at the Thomas Dixon Center – the flashy new $100 million headquarters in Brisbane’s West End.
Guests were instructed to arrive at 5:15 PM for the 5:30 PM event and were advised to wear only “flat shoes or block heels” to protect the center’s floor.
The expensive Christmas party cost taxpayers a total of $64,238, which works out to about $713 per minute.
Ms Palaszczuk’s office on Sunday defended the annual event as a “long-standing tradition.”
Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk hosted the annual Christmas reception at Queensland Ballet’s flashy new $100 million headquarters in Brisbane’s West End (Photo: Di Farmer, Vanessa Fowler, Reza Adib, Annastacia Palaszczuk and Geoff and Priscilla Dickie)
The 90-minute event cost the taxpayer a total of $64,238, which is more than $700 per minute (Mark Ryan, Brett and Belinda Beasley with Annastacia Palaszczuk at the 2022 Cabinet Christmas reception)
A spokesman for Ms Palaszczuk told the Courier Mail charitable donations were offered during the function and it was a “significant opportunity” for the nonprofits to be supported and recognized.
The cost of the event and full guest list has been obtained by the Courier Mail under the Right to Information Laws.
Mayor Adrian Schrinner and Governor Jeannette Young attended the event, along with Queensland MPs Mark Ryan and Di Farmer.
Ms Palaszczuk was pictured with Vanessa Fowler, the recipient of the Order of Australia medal, and Geoff Dickie, Priscilla Dickie, Brett Beasley and Belinda Beasley, Australian of the Year nominees.
Her partner, surgeon Dr. Reza Adib, also attended the event.
Juvenile Justice Minister Leanne Linard labeled the event a “wonderful evening” and shared photos of the event on social media.
‘It was a great opportunity to thank our key stakeholders from across the state who make such a meaningful contribution to life in Queensland,’ Ms Linard wrote.
An important part of the annual event was the distribution of charitable donations (pictured)
Juvenile Justice Minister Leanne Linard (right) labeled the event a ‘wonderful evening’ and shared photos of the event on social media.
Guests listened to speeches by Ms Palaszczuk and Deputy Prime Minister Steven Miles and were also treated to a ‘sneak performance’ of The Nutcracker by dancers from the Queensland Ballet.
More than 900 people were invited, including Australian billionaires, athletes, union leaders, current and former politicians, department bosses and stakeholders, but Ms Palaszczuk’s office has not confirmed who attended the event.
Hollywood director Baz Luhrmann and his Oscar-winning partner Catherine Martin were on the guest list.
Ms. Palaszczuk famously was with Luhrmann on the red carpet at the premiere of Elvis on the Gold Coast in June last year.
Other Hollywood hitters were also invited, including Godzilla vs. Kong and Pirates of the Caribbean producer Eric McLeod and executive producer of the Netflix series Boy Swallows Universe Andrew Mason.
Australia’s richest person and mining billionaire Gina Rinehart, tech entrepreneur Bevan Slattery, Suncorp boss Steve Johnston and Racing Queensland’s Steve Wilson were also invited.
The reception invited more than 900 people, including Hollywood director Baz Luhrmann (Reza Adib (left), Baz Luhrmann (center) and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (right) are seen at the Australian premiere of the film Elvis on the Gold Coast )
Ms Palaszczuk was accused of being obsessed with ‘glitter and glamour’ following a spate of red carpet appearances (pictured Catherine Martin, Baz Luhrmann, Annastacia Palaszczuk, Austin Butler, Reza Adib Chaydon Jay, Olivia DeJonge and Tom Hanks at premiere on Elvis)
Other invitees included Olympic champion Dawn Fraser, simmers Ariarne Titmus, Zac Stubblety-Cook and Shayna Jack, former NRL player Johnathan Thurston and Paralympian Kurt Fearnley.
Andrew Liveris, president of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was invited along with members of the Games’ Organizing Committee.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Ms Palaszczuk’s office for comment.
The 2022 Premier’s Cabinet Christmas Reception cost taxpayers $13,524 less than last year’s event, which was held at the Queensland Art Gallery and cost $77,762.
Last year, Ms Palaszczuk’s commitment was called into question after she was accused of being obsessed with “glitter and glamour” following a flurry of appearances at red carpet events.